Turbocharge Your Sales Presentation – Open With a Grabber and Close With a Win

According to scientific research, an audience gives a presenter between 15 seconds to 2 minutes before deciding whether or not it is worth paying attention. If that’s true–and we have no reason to believe it is not–we must wonder why so many presenters waste their most important minutes looking and sounding like everyone else.

We’ve all heard the standard lacklustre opening that goes something like, “Thank you for inviting me. My name is fill-in-the-blank and I am here to represent fill-in-the-blank.” Then follows a lot of boring and inconsequential background trivia. Indeed, it is a shocking reality that most presenters willingly and foolishly fritter away their golden moments. Perhaps they fear looking different. Maybe attracting attention raises an alarm. Then too, it could simply be a lack of imagination and smarts.

Whatever the reason, if you want to differentiate yourself from the competition–and rise above them–don’t you dare do it. First grab your audience. Then, when they are paying rapt attention, you can tell them who you are.

Imagine you sell privacy software. You could open with a story about a deep sea photographer who survived his last dive because he was saved by a shark cage. Then you might say something like: and that’s what we do for you. Our software is like a safety cage that protects you from predators. Or imagine you are an investment firm hoping to convince an audience to invest with you. Your opening could be a newspaper report about a farmer who won the biggest pumpkin contest at the state fair because he knew precisely what it takes to make pumpkins grow big. “And that’s what we do for you,” you would say. “We know exactly what it takes to protect your investment and grow it bigger than anyone else.”

Of course, you don’t have to open with a story. You could open by teaching your audience a simple musical round–and conducting them. Then you could say, “That’s what we do when we consult with you. We make things work in harmony.”

Clearly, the number of ways to begin is limited only by your imagination. The key to a high-impact opening is to conclude it with a big point that leads smoothly to your Big Message. Your Big Message, of course, is the most important thing you want your audience to remember about you. It is that strong statement that conveys your brand promise to the world.

No matter how you choose to open, do not give your opener any preamble. Do not start by saying, “Before I begin I want to tell you a story,” or anything remotely similar. Be bold. Be confident. Simply stand up and plunge in. Once you have completed your opening and stated your message, then you may do the “Hello. My name is…” routine. And not before.

A great opening should take no more than three or four minutes. And please be fearless. Any and every audience is delighted by a well conceived, charming or entertaining opening–no matter how stuffy or conservative you may think they are.

So, here are 21 ways to grab your audience right at the opening.

  1. tell a story
  2. show an interesting quote from an interesting person
  3. read a news report
  4. post a startling statistic
  5. play a game
  6. do a magic trick
  7. show a video clip
  8. conduct a group musical introduction
  9. do card trick
  10. display a stunning visual
  11. use a toy
  12. announce a little known fact
  13. demonstrate a mind-reading trick
  14. sing a song
  15. use a puzzle
  16. take photos and display them
  17. build something
  18. recite a poem
  19. assemble a pie
  20. play an instrument
  21. talk about the weather

You’ll notice I do not suggest opening with a joke. Very few people tell jokes well and they are usually called comedians. Besides, most jokes are sure to offend someone–so it’s best not to tell jokes.

When you open with a grabber, your audience pays attention. Keep them interested with good organization, engaging slides and appropriate stories. (See my article: How to Organize a PowerPoint Sales Presentation – 7 Easy Steps For a Perfect Pitch.) Then close by circling back to your opening point and restating your Big Message.

Chances are good you’ll get a standing ovation. Chances are even better you’ll win the sale.

How to Get Just the Right Wedding Present

Having recently got married, there came a time during preparations when we were asked for a list of required wedding gifts. Now, I know this is the done thing these days but to be honest, I wasn’t totally comfortable with the process. It didn’t feel right to be window shopping and putting together a list of items that we wanted other people to buy for us. There was also the dilemmas of cost. Should we ask for cheap stuff to not look greedy or should we ask for the pricier stuff to get something really nice or could we find middle of the road items?

As uncomfortable as the thought was, creating a list for wedding gifts turned out to be a relatively easy and quite pleasurable experience. Instead of trawling all around different shops, we decided to do a list online and found many of our favourite places provided a wedding gift list service. This allows you to window shop your way through the website adding items as you go at the click of a button. You are then given a list reference number which you can pass to your intended guests and they can pick and choose what they want to buy.

When each shopper has purchased something from the list, the list is then automatically adjusted to show you who has bought what item – a great facility when it comes to writing thank you cards! Many online shops will also deliver the presents, wrapped, to the married couples address at a later, pre-arranged date. Now this isn’t just good for the couple getting married in that they get the wedding gifts they like as opposed to four toasters and a nylon eiderdown, it also makes like a great deal easier for the guests.

Nobody wants to turn up to a wedding empty handed and gifts are the norm. However, in this day and age when couples are getting married later in life, often co-habiting first, and a bottom drawer is unheard of, most people will have all the things they need to begin married life.

So, coming up with a good idea for a wedding present is difficult. You don’t want to look like a cheap skate and you don’t want to break the bank. You want to give something thoughtful and useful that won’t sit and gather dust for years on end in the loft. The dilemmas of the right wedding present are settled by the use of a wedding list.

For the couple making the list, we found it relatively easy to find a range of gifts that we liked that covered a whole range of price groups. This meant that groups of people were able to club together to purchase a larger or more expensive gift and single people were also able to find something appropriate within the right price range.

The whole business of making a list for wedding gifts turned out to be a good one. We got some wonderful gifts that were just what we wanted and the guests were able to purchase just the right thing in the right price range. This saved all the trawling round the shops and guessing at what we might like!

One of my favourite aspects of the experience (apart from opening all the presents!), was that we were able to complete the whole process on line from the comfort of our sofa. On line wedding gift lists are a great service. They simplify the whole process and make it easy for the couple as well as the guests.

What is cell-based seafood?

The process of making cell-based seafood begins by taking cells from a fish and putting them into a culture. The culture is then fed and monitored until the cells grow into muscle tissue. This muscle tissue is then harvested and made into products such as sushi, burgers, or nuggets.

Cell-based seafood has many benefits over traditional seafood. One benefit is that it does not require fishing which can be harmful to the environment. Another benefit is that cell-based seafood can be produced in a controlled environment, which means that there is less chance for contamination.

However, fresh tuna suppliers say that there are some drawbacks to cell-based seafood as well. One drawback is that the process is still new and expensive, which means this type of seafood will go at much higher prices. Another drawback is that some people are concerned about the health and safety of cell-based seafood.

Countries that are currently experimenting with cell-based seafood include:

The United States
Norway
Japan
China

Despite these drawbacks, cell-based seafood is a promising new technology that has the potential to change the way we eat seafood. It is hoped that more people will start to embrace this new technology so that we can all enjoy its benefits. Cell-based seafood has the potential to be a sustainable and safe alternative to traditional seafood. Only time will tell if it will become popular with consumers. For now, cell-based seafood is an exciting new development in the food industry.