10 Mistakes Presenters Make—and How to Avoid Them

Like Hollywood actors, network marketing professionals put themselves and their companies on the line with every word—taking a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome. Just like actors, even the best, most experienced presenters can benefit from script review, rehearsal, and coaching.

Here are the 10 most common mistakes we’ve seen network marketing presenters make and ways to avoid them:

1- Unclear thinking.

Imagine a busy prospect says, “You have exactly ten minutes to tell me what I need to know about your company/products.” What your prospect is really asking is, “What do I need to know about how your company/product/business can improve my life? Will your products or services solve a problem, create new opportunities, increase savings or maximize my earnings?” Accomplish this, and you can present your options more formally.

2- Talking too much.

The key to connecting with a client is conversation. The quality of information exchanged depends on the quality of your questions, and waiting for and listening to the answers! For a successful encounter and to start the sales process, ask mostly open-ended questions—the kind that requires essay answers rather than just a yes and no. And never rush on with preprogrammed questions that ignore the answer you’ve just received!

3- Wrong structure.

Do not build your talking points and presentation structure around your company. Structure them around your prospect’s interests, challenges, or opportunities. Put their words into your presentation. Yes, you will be talking about your company, other satisfied customers, and your uniqueness to prove that you can appeal to their interests, solve their challenges, and maximize their opportunities.

4- No memorable stories.

People rarely remember your exact words., but they remember the mental images your words create. Support your key points with vivid, relevant success stories. Create a movie in their minds by using happy customers or successful leaders as memorable characters. What was their starting situation? A problem they faced that your prospect can relate to? What are their results since you worked with them?

5- No emotional connection.

Your customer  justifies working with you for analytical reasons. What gives you the edge—what I call the unfair advantage—is an emotional connection. Build an emotional connection by incorporating stories with characters they can relate to, by using the word you as often as possible, and by talking from their point of view. Congratulate them on their success. Thank them, not for their time, but for the opportunity to present your solution. Instead of, “I will talk about…,” say, “What you will hear is…” Remember, their unspoken question is, “What’s in this for me?”

6- No pauses.

Good music and good communication both contain a change of pace and pauses. As counterintuitive as it may seem, you actually connect in the silence. This is when your audience digests what they have heard. If you rush to squeeze in as much information as possible, your prospects will remember less. Remember the rule: “Say less, say it well.” Give your prospect enough time to ask a question or reflect.

7- Hmm, ah, err, you know, so, right.

Non-words and low-quality words often fill spaces where silence is needed. How often have you heard a presenter begin each new thought with “Now!” or “Um” or “So” as they figure out what comes next. Rehearse in front of your mirror or another team member. Ask him or her to call out whenever you hem or haw. Audio-record yourself, and note any digressions. You can only improve what you are aware of.

8- Weak opening.

Engage your audience with a powerful, relevant opening that includes them. For example, “I understand you are looking to plan a comfortable retirement,” or “We all want to get healthier and have more energy.” Then focus on their needs: college fund, more family time, ability to pursue a passion, traveling the world, or just becoming a more confident public speaker.  How can what you are offering, help?

9- Weak closing.

After reviewing your key points, answering their questions, making suggestions for the next logical step, and thanking them for the opportunity, make your last words linger. Conclude with a strong, positive sentence that will be embedded in their minds. Do not introduce a new idea. Reinforce one of your main advantages or benefits—for instance, “This can help you build a college fund for your kids,” or “Think about the number of years you will need to work in order to get to that income.”

10- Lack of specificity.

Specificity builds credibility and helps position you above your competition. Tons and bunches? Can you really get a ton of ideas? Do you leave the trade show with bunches of business cards? Don’t say, “With these products, you will lose a lot of weight.” Instead, “There are no guarantees; however, three others I worked with recently used our products and lost 20 pounds in 3 months and are enjoying a healthy lifestyle.”

Avoid these 10 mistakes, and you’re on your way to being a star presenter, delivering a dazzling performance every time.

 

patricia frippPatricia Fripp is a speech coach, sales presentation trainer, and keynote speaker. She works with companies large and small, and individuals from the C-Suite to the home-based entrepreneur. She builds leaders, transforms sales teams, and delights audiences.

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