8 Ways To Get What You Want From Presentations
31 October 2023
You’ve just finished a fantastic presentation and people are gurgling with joy about you/your content/your services. It feels like a professional high; the break you have been working towards for years. You can still hear the rapturous applause ringing in your ears as you get back to base expecting the phone to ring, your diary to be heaving at the seams and you’re working out whether you need an office in New York and Hong Kong.
But it all falls flat as a pancake. Nothing. Nichts. De Nada. And you think ‘was I imagining that enthusiasm?’
In truth, it’s very likely that you weren’t. But at events and conferences we’re like goldfishes: as soon as we come away from the context of the talk, we only live in the shadow of the impact, not the full-on spirit of the moment. The day could be packed with other speakers and after a while they all blend into each other. Your impact gets lost because people usually only remember the last presentation they watched. This doesn’t lessen the value of your presentation and how it was received, but it does mean you need to be proactive if you want to pick up on opportunities to:
- gather support for a plan;
- acquire further knowledge or spread your own;
- win business;
- build networks of influence.
Eight ways to create opportunities from your presentations
So here I’ve gathered several ways you can create opportunities to secure the outcome you need from a presentation.
Fundamentally, your presentation may feel like the main course to you, in terms of the pressure and the work you’ve put into it, but often it’s only the starter; the prelude to actually doing business. In other words, you need to make yourself stand out and remain in the minds of your audience and influencers, so that they follow-up on the opportunities you’ve presented. Here are eight ways you can do this:
- Use sildeshare.net to post slides to your audience (the transcript of the slides appears underneath) so they have a permanent record of your presentation, a reminder of how good it was and a reference point which makes it more likely they’ll follow it up and get in touch with you. You can have more words on these slides than during the presentation. Here’s how to do it.
- Post a survey on what people thought of your presentation. Jotform.com can do this easily and send it out to social networks. I’ve found that offering a small incentive in return drastically increases the response rate.
- Send an ‘opt-in form’ to register interest in your products or services. Research has shown that by getting people to indicate interest before you start ‘the sell’, sales can increase by as much as 50%.
- Write a blog or, even better, have a member of the audience write and post one for you if you don’t have time. Sharing your knowledge with the audience means that you can then use it on your own blog, in the time it takes to buckle a belt. This also promotes you as a ‘thought leader’: an authoritative figure your audience are more likely to respect and refer back to.
- Offer a follow-up webinar with a smaller group of individuals who want to go further into the details.
- Arrange one-to-ones with interested individuals or individuals you’re interested in meeting up with (scanning the audience list for opportunities before the presentation will allow you to catch your prey).
- Catch names of attendees, having the opt in to your mailing list so you can keep them as warm leads, instead of waiting for them to go ‘cold’.
- Set up and invite attendees to a forum – online or offline – to exchange ideas and opinions about your content. This makes your audience feel valued and respected in that it promotes an inclusive, collaborative approach.
One or any combination of the above can help you to benefit from the opportunity of presenting so, no matter what happens on the day, you can still seize the moment, maintain momentum, and who knows: New York and Hong Kong may just be starting point to going global.
- Considering your next presentation or pitch, pick the easiest and most effective of the eight options
- Apply that option.
- Determine what your success rate is. This may be Discovery Calls, sales, etc.
- Measure the success rate to help you determine follow up actions for other presentations.
What particular ways have you used to successfully follow up after a presentation? (Add you answers in the comments below ⬇️)
These ideas form part of my presentation skills training courses, which encourage people to think outside the box to make an impact and get the outcomes they need, so #belessrobot and sign-up today.
????while you’re here…have a look at my keynote speaking page. I don’t speak for free anymore but if you want a PRACTICAL and ENTERTAINING speaker, contact me!
Photo by Jaime Lopes on Unsplash
This article was originally published in October 2013 and updated in October 2023.