However, selling can suck. It might make you feel awkward. It can make your audience feel uncomfortable (or heaven forbid manipulated), but persuasion doesn't have to ooze sleaze.
These 7 tips are designed to make your persuasive presentation shine (and leave your audience longing to find out more about what you have to offer).
1. Know what your audience believes
It's time for research. Before you even think about typing a word of your presentation, you've got to spend time getting to know the audience.
Understand their worldview. Who are they? What do they believe about your message? Where do your beliefs align? Where are they different?
When you know what the audience believes about your message, it's easier to find the common ground. And knowing what you have in common makes changing their beliefs a whole lot easier.
2. Get clear on the result
The audience's result – not your result (mo' money, mo' clients, mo' profits).
It's easier to persuade when you know exactly how you make someone's life better. The stunning result that you uniquely provide.
You need to be clear as a bell on the transformation your product or service provides for the audience.
3. Sleazy tactics need not apply
I've got a nose for spotting sleazy persuasive tactics from a mile a way. I'm a persuasion cynic.
“Run to the back of the room right now!” – the first person who pops up is a plant. But social proof is an incredible motivator, so other people start to run.
Giving you an incentive to show up at a sales talk (you know…on vacation in Cabo going for the time share pitch), then at the end if you don't buy the sales dude guilts you by talking about how much he is giving you.
Making people feel guilty, pressured, and manipulated to get what the speaker wants is sure-fire sign of a sleazy tactic in action.
The goal is to for you to feel good about your ask and for the audience to feel like it was the natural next step in your presentation.
How do you do that?
4. Always be creating value
The key to losing the sleaze?
Always be creating a value for the audience.
I recently chatted with a sales person who told me that his persuasive strategy was to completely overwhelm his audience with information so that they don't have any choice but hire him.
The problem is that he has no idea what value he creates for the audience. Overwhelm is not a compelling reason to buy.
To create value, give your best tip away for FREE! Yes, you read that right – give your best idea to away. Give the audience something that they can implement right after your presentation.
When you create value, the next natural step is talking about how you can create EVEN more value.
5. Tell a story
During every sales presentation or conversation, there comes a time when you need your listeners to imagine a future with you in it.
Story is the perfect vehicle for time travel.
Stories fire up our mirror neurons.
Well-told stories engage our brains and make people feel like the story is happening to them.
They see themselves in your story.
Not only that human are hard wired to relate a story to themselves. How many times have you told a story only to have a friend say to you “That reminds of a time that I….”?
Adding stories to your marketing arsenal inspires the “Heck, yeah — this business is for me” response!
6. Clear call-to-action that's actionable
You've created value, proved your worth and engaged your audience's brains with story now you need to offer up that invitation.
The biggest issue that I see in presentations is that the call-to-action is confusing. Multiple offers. No immediate next step. Guessing to figure out how they can sign up to work with you.
All that leads to too much effort to act on your offer. Clarity is essential about your ONE offer and exactly what the audience needs to do to act on it!
7. No attachment to outcome
Your offer is an invitation. Some times people accept your invitation and some times they don't. Just like sometimes your friends want to go grab a drink with you and sometimes they don't.
Sure, it can be disappointing but an audience knows when your business is riding on a pitch. They smell the desperation and that's a big turn-off. The best way is to invite them into what you've got to the offer, and let go of what happens next.
The goal is to feel good about persuasion and make your audience feel great about what you offer. Your business is built to serve the world and help people.
Go out an give incredibly persuasive presentation. If you need help creating a presentation that motivate action, download the Presentation Sweet Spot Guide for crafting a presentation that persuades and inspires.