The Psychology of Presentations

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A presentation is more than just numbers and facts. You’re dealing with people. Here are five helpful points to remember when working on your presentation.

  1. Provide Social Proof. Sharing how your clients are using your product provides confidence. Sharing with a prospect reference clients they recognize offers a kind of endorsement that facilitates decision making.
  2. Risk Aversion Beats Gaining Benefits. Sales 101 teaches us not to focus on the features, but the benefits. But sales 201 builds on the psychological finding that people are more likely to avoid risk than seek gains. Therefore, it’s more persuasive to show a prospect what he will lose if he doesn’t follow through on your action than what he will gain. (E.g., if your competitor buys our product first, he will have the competitive edge!)
  3. Provide benchmarks for success. We all look for feedback. Having a way to measure some level of success encourages us to believe that the situation is working – reducing risk and providing gain.
  4. Alignment for Sales Proposition. Demonstrate that the benefits of the product/service are aligned with the buyer’s goals, both personally and professionally.
  5. Let the prospect experience your product/service. If there is a way to give the prospect something in advance – such as free trial – it engages the person who can then internalize the positive feelings toward the product and your generosity, rather than be a passive observer.