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Do you know what the most common phobia is? You might be thinking it’s spiders and other creepy crawlies, or heights, maybe even public places or tomato ketchup (that last one is 100% real). Well, you’d be wrong, the number one phobia is actually public speaking.

Many of us dread the prospect of speaking to a large group of people especially if one’s business is on the line. It can be an incredibly high pressure scenario but the rewards of a successful presentation are frequently so remarkable that it’s crucial you learn how to do them well. Just one pitch, one presentation, could completely transform your career for the better.

So if the prospect of a sales presentation leaves you petrified, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We dove into material published by some of the world’s leading public speaking experts and discovered these ten tips for sales presentation. Learn them well and soon enough you’ll be providing perfect presentations every time.

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1- Practice your pacing

One of the best sales presentation tips we can offer is a very simple one; learn how to pace your speech. Many a substantial and informative presentation has been ruined by the presenter rambling or muttering slowly throughout.

Days in advance of your presentation start practicing your speech and establish a rhythm that you can comfortably replicate. Speak calmly and slowly (though obviously not too slowly) and remember that gaps in your speech can provide welcome emphasis.

2- Concise equals quality

When it comes to presentations, remember that less mearns more, if your presentation is too long or too dense nobody will remember anything. You’re not a robot or AI technology, logic and information alone won’t capture success for you.

As with everything in sales you will only be successful if you appeal to the emotional impulses of your audience. If they become bored because of your rambling presentation you’ll fail, so keep them intrigued and keep things short.

3 – Present to the prospect’s pain

As much a tip for sales presentations as it is for the sales business in general, make sure you do your research about your prospect’s pain beforehand. Discover their challenges and deeply consider exactly how your product can provide a cure.

You should then craft your entire presentation around how you can provide a cure for their pain. Go into detail (while remembering to be concise), for example, you can provide three key examples of why your product is guaranteed to fix their pain.

4 – Include feedback loops

When you’re structuring your presentation make sure you leave space for feedback loops. These are moments in your presentation where you offer the audience the opportunity to ask questions or provide input.

This works well for two reasons, firstly, it keeps the audience engaged, and secondly, it ensures that you yourself don’t go off on a tangent. In effect, feedback loops keep you accountable.

5 – Watch your body language

If you want to succeed at presentations and subsequently penetrate new markets then watch your body language. It’s a little tricky if you’re not used to this but with a little practice you can finely tune your body to maximise success.

Prospects respond well to positive body language like keeping your arms fluid and open. Conversely, standing in front of your audience avoiding eye contact, or keeping your arms crossed, will significantly damage your chances of success.

6 – Never assume the audience knows what you do

Sales presentation tips are only as good as the person who implements them and you need to know what you’re about. This maxim applies to the audience as well, they need to know exactly who you are and what it is that you do.

Therefore make sure you explicitly state your role, work and intent at the start of each and every presentation. If your audience doesn’t know what you do you’re going to have a really bad time, so never assume they already know what you do.

7 – Use graphs and infographics

Using graphs and infographics is a consistently successful technique in b2b sales and they are also highly effective in presentations. They punctuate your presentation and encourage audience participation, which in turn keeps them engaged.

Make sure you have a few graphs or infographics spread throughout your presentation, just don’t overdo it. The point is to use them to reinforce key points you wish to make and to consistently capture the audience’s attention.

8 – Don’t miss the ROI

Even if you’re not actually presenting to a group of investors you should never miss out on including return on investment (ROI) in your presentations. ROI is one of the key golden metrics and every aspect of a business is related to it.

Always ensure that your presentation covers how the product or service you’re providing will boost income and sales, and improve overall ROI. Go into detail and provide concrete figures you can back up with research.

9 – Include CTAs

Calls to Action (CTAs) are moments, usually included at the end of presentations, where you call on your audience to do something specific. They range from asking questions to signing up to a website or buying a product.

Everyone in the sales industry from the new sales clerk to the vice-president of sales and beyond sometimes needs to be shown the next step, and that’s what CTAs are for. They’re also great at retaining audience attention, so don’t skip them.

10 – Follow up after the presentation

The last of our tips for sales presentations actually takes place after the fact, which is to follow up your presentation and ask for feedback. Try to time this no more than three to five days after you gave the presentation in question.

Following up on your presentations gives you an opportunity to guide the prospects towards making a purchase. It can also help you identify areas you need to improve to be more successful if you ask for honest feedback.

How do great sales presentations fit into the sales cycle?

Preparation is number one when it comes to effective sales presentations. Review your content frequently, know your product so you’ll be prepared for questions, and practice your delivery even if it’s just in the mirror.

A presentation is only as good as the sales cycle it’s embedded in, however. The perfect presentation to the wrong audience is useless, and giving a great presentation to the perfect audience won’t matter if you don’t follow up at the right time.

Revenue Grid provides sales software to power up your sales cycle from start to finish. Use Revenue Inbox to auto-capture leads from your inbox to the proper object in Salesforce, then use them to make precisely-targeted nurturing campaigns with Revenue Engage to warm up prospects for your presentation. Once you’ve aced your meeting, use Revenue Guide to follow up on time and carry the deal all the way to closed/won.