The problem with the word ‘sell’ is that for some people, it has a negative connotation. No-one likes the pushy sales-person who barely lets you get a foot through the shop door before pouncing on you, determined to make you buy their product come what may! And quite rightly so – it’s a complete turn off and is guaranteed to have anyone running in the opposite direction.
On the other hand, because we know that this aggressive kind of selling has a negative effect on customers, we’re left feeling we need to tone down the sell.
And while toning it down is appropriate in some instances, there’s definitely a danger of underselling.
Whether you’re selling a product or pitching to clients, you’ll want to be able to do so confidently so that you can wow your prospective customers or clients to influence a sale.
1. Speak with confidence, clarity and conviction
It goes without saying that when you’re presenting or pitching, you need to have a good grasp of your facts – to know your subject inside out. For many though, even with a good grasp of their subject, speaking in public to complete strangers is enough to put them outside their comfort zone.
Skill Studio, a new concept in professional training, has designed a series of presentation skills and effective communication workshops where they show you how to deliver expert presentations – whether it’s for business or for pleasure.
For example, in their presentation skills workshops, they show you how to use your voice more powerfully and how to pause so that when you speak, you speak with conviction.
The exercises beforehand on helping you to calm your nerves are really helpful – showing you how to slow down and pace yourself. If you visibly show that you’re nervous and on edge, it can have a negative effect on your audience making them feel ill at ease and on edge too. However, if you give a calm and confident delivery it will naturally make your audience feel calm too, putting them in the right frame of mind to listen to what you have to say.
The Skill Studio trainers expertly guide you through all of this, giving you helpful feedback on where you can make improvements.
2. Use good body language
Have you ever been to a conference and watched the speaker confidently ‘owning’ the stage, pacing it while animatedly speaking to the audience? These are tricks that anyone can learn with the right guidance.
Just something as simple as using your hands to gesture and make good eye contact can really help you come across as more engaging.
Skills Studio trainers show you how to use non-verbal communication so that you have a stronger stage presence – for example showing you how to make the most of your posture. It’s surprising how you can adopt poor posture without even realising it and unwittingly ‘advertising’ to your audience that you are uncomfortable.
3. Structure your presentation
There is nothing worse than a speaker who waffles! At best, it gives the impression that the presenter is unprepared, at worst it denotes that they don’t care about the topic they are delivering.
When you deliver your presentation or pitch, do structure it carefully so that it shows you’ve taken forethought and care. You don’t need to be tied to copious notes – just jot down the main points so that you have them clearly in mind.
It’s a little known secret that a great presentation has been carefully ‘signposted’ -and this is where a Skill Studio coach can help. They show you what those signposts are, how to create a strong opening to hook your audience, how to keep a clear focus to stop your audience getting bored, and how to create a strong ending.
The nice thing about these workshops is that they are small enough to feel friendly and supportive, so you don’t feel intimidated – you’re all there for the same reason, to improve your presentation skills.
And at the end of each workshop, you will have developed highly practical skills that you’ll continue using long after.