OFTEN when I coach sales teams I emphasize the importance of incorporating a theme in a presentation so that your audience connects with your message and they remember you.
Today, audiences are inundated with presentations, demonstrations which tend to blur together and speakers begin to all sound the same. Yes, I know your software, your solution, is unique which is exactly what your competition tells audiences too.
In a previous post I discussed how essential it is to have a theme in order to make yourselves memorable. It’s simple, easy and extremely impactful. And it has been proven to contribute to the narrow margin of winning opportunities. I guarantee you and your audience will enjoy it!
Sometimes your theme won’t connect with your audience. What do you do? Hone your message? Abandon? Give up? Hone your message?
I recently visited four cities in the past three weeks speaking to over 200 business owners, salespeople, consultants and developers.
Kicking off our first event in New York City I led with a PowerPoint slide,
P = m v
in large, bold font on a white background. This is the formula for momentum. Momentum of a particle equals mass * velocity and it become the theme for my presentation. Throughout my presentation I referred to momentum frequently but the theme didn’t connect with the audience as I had planned. I even found myself jokingly saying “we have a lot of P right now.”
Returning home I recognized my theme was satisfactory but the delivery needed improvement. A great idea or theme needs to be tested. Although I practiced my delivery the entire week leading up to the first event, the live session in New York became a beta for subsequent events.
The following week in Chicago I arrived with cycling gloves, nutrition bars titled “Momentum Bars” (a great give-away) and a cow bell. This time while the formula was on the screen, I provided three examples of momentum:
- What momentum means to avid cyclists and how early season training can impact momentum on uphill climbs and downhill descents.
- What momentum means as a Cubs fan. The evening before our event I attended a game at Wrigley Field and I marveled at the Cubbies 1-game winning streak.
- What momentum means as a Microsoft seller supported by the positive momentum of our respective businesses.
Fine tuning my original theme made an impact on the audience. There was a definite buzz in the room.
Can I attribute the excitement solely to my refinement?
No, but it certainly provided a connection to my audience. As a result co-presenters elevated their presentation delivery often referring to the theme, we delivered a consistent message as a team and I know my audiences will remember P = m v.