My last article talked about the top ten mistakes I see people make when doing 60 second presentations. At the end of that article I hinted that there were more traps that needed to be avoided but for the sake of brevity, I only talked about my top 10.
Now I want to cover 8 more common mistakes that I see even season members regularly make. These mistakes can be made by beginner also but they often show up as part of the traps “yearling” fall victim to. The 8 items discussed here are often errors of omission or errors using inappropriate words, gestures or other elements of the presentation. Avoid these and shine at your next networking event.
The first item I want to discuss is sometimes not consider very important. Mistake #1 is NO Pain! I often see 60 second presentations where the person does a good job of describing their product or service but leave out the potential customer pain. I try to include 2 or 3 customer pains in all my infomercials. Adding the customer’s pain to your description of your product or service, really make the message pop. It helps clarify the “why” for your listener and clarity produces power. What kind of power you ask? It gives them the power to act; it motivates someone to take action on your behalf.
Mistake #2 NO Emotion. 60 Second presentations need to be delivered with feeling in order to be perceived as genuine. Without passion, you come across as fake. Emotions’ help the listener empathize. They are more likely to listen and get involved if the believe what you say. Saying things with emotion and passion gives you this credibility. If you come across without passion and emotion your message will be flat and your listeners’ will be turn off and will tune out.
Mistake #3 Poor Delivery. This can be related to not being passionate about your subject but it can also be just a poor deliver. What I am talking about here is your pace, intonation and volume. Going to fast or going too slow can turn off your audience. For some, going too fast carries the connotation of “of a disclaimer”. Going to slow carries the connotation of being boring. Being too loud, equates to obnoxious, too quiet, being timid. A good deliver is varied in pace, intonation and volume. When you speak with emotion and passion this often automatically happens. Remember that presenting has many elements of acting in it. These techniques can be master through practice. Remember to have fun while your being serious. This will help you be more authentic and being authentic can help sway your listeners’.
Mistake #4 Leaving out "Door Opener". Door openers are statements used to catch a person’s attention. Door Openers are word hooks like “on sale, limited offer, free and guaranteed”. Most people automatically pay more attention because most people want to take advantage of or at least know of these “specials”. Using these kinds of words gives your referral partners the ammunition to get your foot in the door. Use them and you will get more referral and more sales.
Mistake #5 Using Profanity. I don’t often hear profanity used in presentations but when I do, WOW, it doesn’t make the presenter look good. Even using phrases like “stuff happens” brings you close to being in a bad place. You may hear laughter when it is used but it will never increase your credibility or make you look more professional. I have even seen great 10 minute presentations totally destroyed because they used one bad word during their presentation. One word out of several thousand and their presentation was remembers for the one bad word. Never use profanity in your 60 second presentations. It can only hurt you.
Mistake #6 Using the wrong wording for a specific venue. What I am getting at here is the mistake of using highly religious statements in a total secular venue or the reverse, using secular language in an all religious venue. A similar mistake can happen when addressing an all female audience while exclusively using masculine wording. Words like men, him, his, and he carry gender exclusive connotations. Woman with strong feminine beliefs don't take kindly to the exclusive use of male gender only statements. The reverse is also true. If you’re a Woman presenter and you are speaking to an all male audience, using all female gender language will hurt your credibility. When ever possible make sure your language is appropriate for the venue. At the very least make sure it is neutral so you don’t inadvertently offend your audience.
Mistake #7 Bad Posture. This mistake can be related to poor delivery and can be tied to your mood and well being. It is important that you maintain good posture when you speak. Your posture directly affects your delivery. Some times I see people sitting when they should be standing or hiding behind a podium or another person. Hiding does not add to your credibility either. Being too casual or appearing slouched does not portray you as being confident. Your body language will be a dead give away. Throw your shoulders back, stand tall and look people in the eyes. Act confident, stand confident and you will be seen as competent!
Mistake #8 In Appropriate Dress for the venue. The last item I will be discussing is also about body language, although it more about what’s on your body then the way it moves. I’m talking about looking your best. In my opinion it never hurts you to be the best dressed person at any event. Many networking venues have dress codes and not wearing the proper attire can easily get you embarrassed or worse get you ejected. If an event is Business attire or business casual, ask what that mean. I will usually wear at least a sports coat and most often wear a suite and tie. Ladies should also ask what is appropriate. Many times the dress you’re wearing looks stunning but distracts from your message. Also remember that your suite or dress has to fit right. If your attire is not fitted properly, you risk being classified unsophisticated, cheap or just plain ignorant. You don’t want to be classified as any thing other than professional! It's better to be a little over dressed than it is to be under dressed. If an event is labeled casual still try to look nice. I never wear jeans in any business setting unless the venue calls for jeans! Be appropriate for your industry and for the venue. Try to always look your best. Looking your best help you feel confident and help you carry your message to your listeners.
There you have it, 8 common mistakes made by many seasoned net-workers, even after years of practice. This article along with The 10 most Common Mistakes made in a 60 second presentations, will give you a strong foundation for building great sales manager minutes. Armed with this knowledge, you will become a better net-worker and 60 second presenter.