Beef Up Your Presentation Package

By Margaret Bedrosian

You have spent much time and effort in just making the initial appointment for a presentation to the board of ABC Company, an establishment you feel would score high with your company’s product. Now that you are preparing your presentation, how can you be sure that your selling points will hit home?

1. Distribute information.

If you hope to hear from prospects again after the presentation is over, they need to have your name, address and phone number. Sure, business cards provide this information but try this alternative instead: distribute a one-page handout on your company letterhead that reviews the three key ideas of your presentation. Another idea is to hand out novelty items such as ballpoint pens or calendars with your name, address and phone number on them.

2. Audiotape or videotape your presentation.

Get an inexpensive tape dubber and make duplicate copies of your presentation to send to appropriate prospects. The videotaping equipment can be set up in the back of the room and left unattended during your session.

3. Invite press coverage.

If you can hook into today’s news or big issues, you might attract the attention of the metropolitan press. Remember the geographic area in which you are trying to sell. If you want to make a big name right in your community, the local press may be easier to reach and may be more inclined to give you coverage.

4. Turn your presentation into an article.

The group you are addressing could use it in their newsletter and could submit it to their industry’s national magazine. You could offer the article to newspapers or magazines that your prospects might read. You don’t need to get paid for the article if it is likely to bring in business. If you like the idea of the article but you hate to write, give your audiotape to a ghostwriter and let a professional polish your prose. Many cities have writers’ groups and talented professionals who charge $15 to $45 an hour. Working with a ghostwriter is perfectly ethical and is standard business practice. Yours is the only name listed as author in such arrangements.

5. Consider bringing your own camera.

People love to receive photographs of themselves in the mail. Have your camera with you at these events. Choose one that is simple and easy to operate and takes excellent pictures. Either you can take pictures of people you want to follow up with, or you can draft someone to photograph you with prospects. Send the pictures along later with a note.

Be remembered. Put these ideas to work for you. They can help you move away from prospecting and selling with a butterfly net where you have to go out and capture each new prospect and drag him or her in, kicking and screaming. These tips for magnetic presentations can help reposition you as the person whose visibility attracts the kinds of customers you want.