That moment before you are getting ready to present your sales pitch over videoconference can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments in the cycle of your business plan. So much seems to depend on this one moment, and truly, it does. Keeping things focused and your presentation rolled up tight will help you, but if you’re like most of us, that moment right before hand can leave the brain feeling scattered and your nerves frayed. Here are some tips to help you on your way.
Use Direct Language
A babbling sales pitch isn’t going to help you sell your product or service. Who hasn’t been in the position though where you just keep rambling on? It happens to the best of us. Sometimes it is something as simple as nerves that cause the incessant sidetracking and detail dumping. Breaking this bad habit is essential to landing the client. If it’s the nerves that have you than you can follow some of the following simple exercises to keep you going.
Taking the Edge Off—a No, No.
It’s the old classic social lubricant, but this isn’t afterhours. There seems like a possibility that it could be the best simple solution to just have a drink or two to take the edge off of the nerves. You may even think you function better with a little bit of extra special sauce in your tank and what could be more tempting than not having to worry about everyone in your meeting being able to smell it on your breath?
If your better judgment hasn’t kicked in to tell you this is a bad idea, you want to remind yourself of how bad you want the potential client. If your mind is clear and focused your more apt to engage in meaningful dialogue as well as maintain your poise. Imagine the reaction of having a bit too much before the meeting? You can definitely blow your chances with the client and thoroughly trashing your career. Smart tip #1: stay sober.
Go for a Walk Instead
It sounds too simple to be effective, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t you have to do a bunch of strenuous exercise, or bend yourself into unimaginable yoga poses to attain inner peace? Not necessarily. Something as basic as going for a little walk before your videoconference can help clear the cobwebs from your mind. A little 10-15 minute walk can also help increase your blood circulation. This is going to deliver more oxygen to your brain and help you think clearer and maintain a more heightened state of focus.
Also, if you are like most of us, you spend a lot of time behind the computer, so giving your eyes alone a little break is going to help you appear more alert. You don’t want to look like you’ve been up for the past 24 hours working non-stop on preparing your pitch. Even if you have.
Make a Script
Take the time to write yourself out a little script. Be specific. You may think that you can just wing it or make little notes on index cards to carry you through your sales pitch. The problem with this, especially if you are longwinded, is that you aren’t doing anything to help keep yourself on track.
When you take the time to actually write out everything that you have to say you really are giving yourself the upper hand in your presentation. With everything all laid out in front of you on paper (before your meeting) you can take the opportunity to see if there are any holes in your presentation that may leave the client questioning whether or not to sign you on.
Pay close attention to using certain language that doesn’t support your company’s integrity. Words like: should, possibly, maybe. Any wording that makes you sound less than 100% sure about yourself is going to leave your client feeling exactly that way. This type of self-defeating language can also rear its ugly head when you try to brave the waters of the presentation on your own without writing everything out first.
Crisp Images, Clear Diagrams –Clarity is King
Your language shouldn’t be the only thing that is direct and crisp. Any visual element, including your own appearance should also be as tailored and sharp as possible. Be sure to run through your visuals and see what they actually look like when they are implemented. Double check them to make sure that when your potential clients are viewing them that they aren’t simply looking at a blurry blown-up bitmaps.
It is far better to go without visuals than it is to have ones that are less than superior. It’s easier now than ever to make a presentation stunning on your own without having to specifically hire somebody for you. But if you have any doubt whatsoever, than it’s probably best to scale things back a little bit and focus more on your content and delivery than all the bells and whistles of having pretty pictures and animation. But seriously, stellar visuals will put you on a whole new level and help cement you in the memory of your potential clients.
Stay Within Your Limits
Even if you are confident in your brand, everything in your presentation needs to match and fall in line all the way down the checklist of how you see your image. Stay clear and direct. Take the time to be good to your body, get the blood pumping if you have to, step away from the computer for a bit before your presentation, and more importantly if you think something looks tacky, or sounds wishy-washy, than it probably does. Stay simple, confident, and be straightforward and you are likely to make a lasting impression.