ON YOUR FEET – Best sales and Marketing Ideas #87

101 Best sales and Marketing Ideas

IDEA 87:


Not all selling takes place in a one-to-one meeting. It can take place in many situations: in farmyard (always keep Wellington boots in your car boot if you’re likely to end up in this environment), in a noisy factory, or across the dinner table. Another circumstance is a formal on-your-feet presentation. Then the audience and the scale of the situation can mean there are different things to think – or perhaps worry – about.

A formal presentation is something that needs some thought and planning (remember: the people who make it look easy usually do their homework). There are principles and tricks of the trade, and it’s beyond my brief to describe them here (for that, see my book How to Craft Successful Business Presentations, published by Foulsham), but one thing is certain – conference is a major factor.


At a conference of a professional management organization …

In the formal setting of a presentation, people respond to the speaker’s manner. If you look and sound confident, people assume that you are; they assume you know your stuff and are credible. If you create this feeling early on, they may well decide to pay attention. Many things contribute to the impact you make, of course, but sheer confidence – and it’s possible to project more than you feel – can certainly contribute real power.

I remember a speaker at a public conference I attended. He was sitting on a platform alongside other speakers the chair, who introduces him. He rose and began to speak, saying something like, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to be talking to you about … And in the hour or so I have available, I …” At this point the chair tugged his sleeve. The speaker bent down and they whispered together for a moment. Then the speaker, who was holding notes in the form of A4 sheets, stood up and continued, “I’m so sorry, ladies and gentlemen. In the 30 minutes I have available …” As he spoke he tore his notes in half lengthways and tossed half the paper into the air, from where it fluttered to the floor. Some 200 faces around me all said, “now this may just be good”. It may have been contrived, but he had grabbed the audience’s attention, and done so in a way that had nothing whatsoever to do with his topic.

In practice

  • The same thing is true of any on-your-feet occasion: get their attention, and then sell.
  • Do not underrate what needs to be done, either in equipping yourself to be able to make good presentations, or in the time in may take to prepare an individual one (see Idea 88).

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