Conversational presenting is, unsurprisingly, taking the sales world by storm. Letting audiences sit in the driver’s seat when it comes to the pitch leads to true engagement and valuable dialogues—two things that are crucial to success.
Winging it completely is a dangerous strategy in sales, however. Time can easily be wasted and points missed entirely. While professionals want to embrace the elements of a more free flowing, responsive conversation, they also need to achieve goals and make sure the pendulum doesn’t swing too far to the other side.
For those just learning how to perform this balancing act, Julie Hansen, a professional sales presentation coach and author, offered her top five tips in a recent webinar:
- Think like a director. You know your story inside and out, from the small details to the big picture. Make sure the conversation around it focuses on moving to the next logical step. Don’t just be a conduit for information; have an action item.
- Use an agenda. People love a sense of progression. Your agenda doesn’t have to be a formal frame with bullet points, so long as you offer something that helps your audience gauge time.
- Manage questions. You don’t need to answer every question on the spot. Create a strategy around what should be addressed in the moment and what shouldn’t to keep yourself from getting detailed by curiosity.
- Break it up. Every second of attention is hard won these days. Try adapting the way you deliver content to the way it’s generally consumed by breaking it up into small chunks.
- Plan engagement. Your audience needs to be taught how to interact within the first few minutes of your presentation. They’ll go into listen-only mode if you don’t engage with them early on, so make sure you set their expectations.
For a much deeper dive into these tips, watch Julie’s webinar below.