It’s no secret to producers that a lack of presentation skills can severely hinder success in the life insurance industry.
Recent surveys conducted by Commispond Inc. (sponsored by Avery Dennison) estimate that more than 50 million presentations take place each day across the world, with a majority being poorly designed and/or delivered. The final result of this survey shows that our ability to communicate orally and visually is the single most-needed attribute for success in the business sector.
With the need for communicating ideas and information now becoming everyone’s job, we realize that public speaking and presenting aren’t the same beast. When compared to public speaking, presentations make greater use of visual communication, demonstrations, interactive audience participation, humor, and have a higher entertainment value. Presentations demand applying a huge body of knowledge and skills that excellent presenters make look natural, but in reality, it’s an acquired talent. Seeing a final presentation is just the tip of a huge iceberg. The amount of work and time that goes into preparing what is seen and heard is mind-boggling. However there is good news. Neither the knowledge nor the skills are difficult to learn and contrary to popular belief, good presenters are made, not born. Now, we have to ask ourselves the question: Do we have the necessary skills to be that “good” presenter?
For those of you who need a few helpful hints in becoming good presenters, remember that most “total package” presentations are developed and designed from three areas: the message, the messenger and the medium.
1. To determine your message, find the “core” idea you want your audience to remember, then develop three to seven points that will support your message.
Remember, the amount of points you have may be determined by the amount of time you have to present. Don’t have more than seven points because your audience will become overwhelmed with information. “Twitterize” your information and make it short and sweet for the audience to absorb. Try to have no more than three points per presentation; that way you’ll know you’re delivering all the right information in small packets.
2. Be sure to incorporate personal stories into the message. Even though it’s clich?, the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is still viable today. When you’re using stories, you’re creating “mental” images for your audience. People love stories, and when you convey information in the form of a story, you’ll create emotional attachments between you, your audience and the topic. Remember, emotion wins over logic!
3. Make sure that you have a good “opening hook” (an attention getter for the audience), several “timely grabs” (similar to opening hooks but found spaced throughout your message) and a “call to action” (which is what you want to see your audience do as a result of your presentation). In any presentation, you want to immediately get the audience’s attention and excite them enough so want to take some type of action at the end of your presentation. A good presentation generates excitement on many different levels.