All presentations are sales presentations…

Why do we make presentations? The more I think about it, the more I realize that we do them because we want to sell something… maybe not a physical product, but something: maybe a viewpoint, some information, a concept, interest in your services,… whatever.  If you don’t want the audience to have “something” after your talk, why bother?

Next time you are doing a presentation, think about what you are selling…
and to whom you are selling…
only then can you decide on the perfect pitch, because you want to make that sale!!!


5 Responses to All presentations are sales presentations…

  1. Laurie says:

    I agree completely!

    So many times in so many presentations, the speaker is only talking to himself. The presentation must always be made with the listener in mind – not with the speaker in mind.

  2. I don’t think this is true all the time. I feel uncomfortable with the idea that presentations (lectures) given by teachers/professors are sales presentations. Some presentations are meant to inform. The same would be true of training presentations (“How to use the new phone system”). I would say that most presentations (except for training) in the business world are meant to be persuasive. And I agree that thinking about what you’re trying to sell, even if it’s an idea, is a great way to start.

    • rabotha says:

      @Ellen. I see where you are coming from. However, I think even an “informative” lecture is a kind of sale, somehow you still need to convince the audience that it is worth listening, that the information has meaning/utility for them in a context. Same thing with skills-based training – why should I (the audience) bother to remember the skill. Granted in some cases the “selling” is easy and probably not so relevant – your example of “How to use the new phone system” can be if it so complicated that people would not be able to use the phone otherwise; but even when its a bit more than that say some special features like voicemail, conferencing, etc which (some) people might need more than just the “skill” to start using.

      As for academia, I think we are particularly bad at this. We way too often just convey information, rather than “selling” idea/interest/ways of thinking/… to students.

      If a trainer is convinced that all his students are convinced that they need to have these skills and are eager to get it, then “selling” can be an overdo. I have however seen way too many times that people end up on training because somebody says they should, or they “just want to get out of the office” and managed to convince some manager that they should attend training course X. Then again I live in a country where there are serious skills shortages in just about any skill area, so maybe it looks different in the rest of the world. Unfortunately I think a lot of training happens without ever applying that information/skill. Now clearly that is not exclusively the presenter’s mistake, but maybe training presenters sometime should think a bit more about that, and how they can “help”.

  3. […] as in this case change their behavior) This is similar to what we want to do with presentations. We want to sell something… be it an idea or a service or a business […]

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