Imagine a Grammy Award-winning artist composing the next great song. It’s a complex number filled with overlapping harmonies and an amazing hook that is sure to be a hit. How many times do you think it will be rehearsed before it’s ever performed in front of a live audience?
Well, sellers and managers should consider any key presentation just as important. Whether it’s a proposal for a major account or a budget presentation to corporate, there’s too much at stake to “perform it live” for the first time without rehearsing!
Here are some things to consider as you rehearse:
- Who will be presenting? Will there be one presenter or more? If more, do you each know your role and who is going to handle which part of the presentation? When the JDA.media exec team presented to a large media group, we knew our transitions would go smoothly because we’d practiced them during rehearsals.
- Where will you be presenting? Zoom, in person? What are your surroundings? Are there things you can control (Zoom background, microphone/lighting looks good?). What will be out of your control?
- Dry run the presentation with someone as your “audience” and to role-play any questions that may be asked at the presentation. Do this a few days before the actual presentation to allow time to revise and re-rehearse.
- For sellers’ rehearsals, managers might have them present to the team in a sales meetings and get advice (not just feedback) from their peers. Saying “good job” might make everyone feel good, but it won’t help improve shortcomings.
What about mistakes that happen during a presentation? My friend Ted is a professional musician and he once told me, “I like making mistakes, it gives me a chance to improvise.” I love that attitude and will think of him the next time I make a mistake during a presentation. And if I’m well-rehearsed, a mistake won’t fluster me or throw me off my game, it will simply provide the opportunity to improvise a little before I get back on track.
A well-rehearsed presentation on a subject you know well, delivered with confidence, enthusiasm, and power and will dramatically increase your chance of success.