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How to Produce a Great Video – Tip #2

Whether you are making a corporate overview video, explainer video, training video, web video, marketing video, employee communication video, sales and new product video, or interview video, the most important ingredient for the successful production remains always the same.

Articulate your objectives clearly and completely.

This is the first and possibly one of the most critical assignments you and your team must tackle in order to ensure your investment will pay off in the end. All effective communication depends on a clear understanding of what is to be communicated (the message), its goals and objectives, to whom (the audience) and in what time frame (the schedule) and how (the distribution plan). This seems so painfully obvious that one wonders why it is so often ignored.

Fact is, it’s difficult to clearly state objectives, to get buy-in from the owners of the messages (often your CEO) to describe the real audiences and to come up with a workable distribution plan. Be fierce. The time and energy spent at the front end within the organization is going to pay off tenfold through the video production and its rollout process. In many instances, everyone is always in a hurry to produce and then ends up spending all the time in the world to rework, revise, revise again and again… and completely ruin a project in the end. Not to mention, all the carefully planned schedule and budget are out the window as a result.

We can’t emphasize this enough. Write them all down, review with your team, revise and get a sign-off from your boss. This document will set the right path to the successful project outcome and be the guiding light for critical decisions you will make in the lifecycle of the project. Not to mention, the document will become a foundation of your RFP.

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The Perfect Pitch – Key #7 for Successful Sales Presentations

Key #7 – Don’t Let Nerves Make You Nervous

Everyone gets nervous before major presentations. It simply manifests itself in different ways for different people. You need to understand how you behave when you’re nervous and work on that. Some common nervous reactions:

– Fast Talker

Simple technique. Just make yourself slow down the first three words of any sentence. And, breathe. Once you do this a few times, you’ll automatically slow down.

– Droner

This is harder. You stay with a monotone that quite literally puts your prospects to sleep. If you are using text, you can mark it for emphasis. This sometimes works, but can be a little artificial. Best suggestion is to find something in what you are proposing to the client that you passionately believe in and present it with all the enthusiasm you can muster. Also, work on making your words more colorful—more active verbs, adjectives and exclamation marks. Keep your remarks short.

– Tongue-twisters and malapropisms

Leave your dictionary at home. Short and simple words are far better than big words used incorrectly. This is endemic in the business world and there are some people (possibly your prospect) who can hear the difference between a word used correctly and not. Similarly, business speak is tedious. How many times do you use the phrase, “at the end of the day?”

– The sweats

This is really hard. Some people just drip when they get nervous. Obviously, a triple dose of strong deodorant is in order. Lightweight clothes are another answer. No caffeine that day helps. Water (with no ice, ice closes the throat) helps a lot. Try not to be the opener of the presentation. Let someone else do it so you can sit back and try to relax until your section. Focus very hard on listening to the prospect and watching for reactions. This gets your mind off of you and onto him or her, which is a good idea, regardless. If none of these suggestions help, then work with a top speech coach. A few sessions should improve the situation immensely.  Careful not to get a speech coach who wants you to do all sorts of artificial things. You will end up more nervous and sweaty than before.

– The fakes

You are you. You have a set of special qualities to bring to every presentation. If you try to be someone else, it will make you and everyone else in the room uncomfortable. If you are a serious person, then be serious. If you are lighthearted, then be lighthearted. A smile is always appreciated. If you are a listener, then listen. If you are a talker, then talk. All within the construct of the meeting strategy that the leader has set out.

Key #8 coming up next week.

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The Perfect Pitch – Key #4 for Successful Sales Presentations

Key #4 – Support Materials

Advertising

A key factor in gaining recognition of your brand, your product or your service is advertising. Whether via TV, radio, print, the Web or other specialty advertising, the important factor, as far as your presentation is concerned, is the integration of your advertising messages and the messages you convey in the presentation. All messages must be aligned.

Letters, Calls and Invitations

Again, as with advertising, the messages should create a foundation that you can build upon during the in-person presentation. Messages are graphic, as well as written words. The look and feel of all these communication elements must support your core brand messages.

Final confirmation of presentation

We all have about a nanosecond’s worth of time to review an upcoming meeting. Your communication to the meeting participants should be concise and cover, at minimum, the purpose of the meeting, the agenda, the time frame, the logistics and any special information such as maps, dining arrangements, and most important, a list of attendees.

Presentation Materials

To PowerPoint or not to PowerPoint. Generally, if you are presenting to more than three people, the information is detailed, the presentation will be longer than 15 minutes and/or graphics are important, we recommend PPT support.

If you use PPT,

  • – Keep the deck as short as possible; roughly two slides per minute is a good rule of thumb.
  • – Bullet points—no paragraphs unless you are reviewing a final copy statement.
  • – Charts must be consistent, one format only and, for financial services companies, the format ought to be a generally accepted one.
  • – Look and feel of the slides must reflect your brand identity.
  • – Always, always customize the first and last slides to your prospect. If you use the corporate logo, make sure it is correct to their brand standards.
  • – Never read slides, always follow the order of the points on the slides.

Video

If you have it, use it. It is extremely memorable. Always keep it short—under five minutes. Be sure the equipment is in order before your presentation.

Print support materials

If you are doing a detailed presentation, it is valuable to leave the information behind in printed form, unless there are competitive issues. A presentation or proposal letter and accompanying brochures should be well packaged and several extra copies should be available.

Have business cards on table in front of prospect team. If presenting to an international audience, make sure that translated business cards are available.

Key #5 coming next week.

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The Perfect Pitch – Key #3 to Successful Sales Presentations

Key #3 – Teamwork Works

There are dozens of ways to create good team interaction at a presentation. Here are a few of the best techniques we know:

> Have a strategy meeting. Whether in person or by phone, talk about your Three Key Messages and the prospect’s Three Key Needs. Make sure there’s consensus amongst your group and, if there isn’t, fix it. By the way, a strategy meeting is not five minutes in the car before you walk into the prospect’s office.

> Assign roles. There should be someone who leads the presentation, someone who takes notes (anyone, except the leader) and someone who is assigned to watch for negative signals and has a way of communicating them to the leader. Everyone should have a specific piece of the presentation, no matter how small. People who just sit and take up space make prospects nervous and it appears disrespectful.

> Never, ever, ever disagree. If someone on the team has made a stupid or incorrect remark, find a way to fix it without appearing to contradict. Anything else, just glide over. The prospect will never remember an incidental less-than-elegant remark, but he/she will never forget a team dysfunction.

> Stick to the roles. Don’t allow anyone to throw off the timing, the message or the ambiance of the presentation. If you have a monopolizer who is not the leader, fix it beforehand or don’t invite him/her to the meeting. Link them in by phone.

> Make sure that everyone is committed to geniality. Again, if there’s a grouch on your team, just don’t invite him/her. If it’s imperative that he or she be there, do everything in your power to get that person in a great mood before the meeting. A prospect will remember tonality over and above everything else.

Key #4 coming up next week.

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