Monday, September 27, 2010
I just finished watching a remote (webcast) demo of a "revolutionary new software product" that will "change the way companies do business". Maybe it will - but it felt like it was the very first time the SE had ever seen the product. Nothing worked as it was supposed to and the demo gave a very poor first impression. What happened? The SE made a "minor upgrade" to the software a few days ago, checked a couple of basic functions - and never practiced his demo script.
This is elementary SE 101 best practices - so why am I blogging about it? BECAUSE IT IS NOT UNCOMMON. Are we getting lazy? Are we getting crunched for time? What possible excuse can there be for not practicing? I have to add that the salesperson ad-libbed his introduction and forgot to cover one of their key business issues.
Practice. That's why there are so many quotes about it!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Last week I was helping a friend prepare a speech he was going to be making at a school board meeting. A little different from a classic sales call - but he wanted to persuade the board to make a particular decision.
He had a great speech outlined with a terrific structure. It was clear, concise and persuasive. But he wasn't happy. Why? Because he was wedded to perfection. I told him to let go, which may seem like strange advice - but here is my reasoning...
When I put together a new presentation, I work hard to come up with the exact words and phrases to get my points across. And so I get stuck to these specific words. If I don't use those exact words it feels like a failure. Yet during the presentation, it's far better not to worry about finding the perfect words and instead be natural and focus on your audience. As long as you have rehearsed , you'll be able to communicate your points clearly even if you don't use the "perfect" words. Because the audience never knew what your perfect words were anyway.