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Helping Executives Win Deals, Advance Careers and Improve Lives
  February 2013 Newsletter

Five Benefits of Rehearsing Presentations

How much time do you take to rehearse for an important presentation? Recently, we noticed that several of our workshop participants reported taking about 30 minutes to rehearse for an important sales presentation – in which the stakes are worth tens of thousands of dollars. Sure you’re busy, but one reason may be that you’re not winning enough deals, and presenting to more prospects than are needed to achieve desired results.

Here are five key reasons to take the time necessary to rehearse.

  1. It increases audience-responsiveness. When you rehearse, you shouldn’t be simply flipping through slides and regurgitating the speech that goes with each one. You’re in a relationship with your audience; you’re delivering an important message which can help the audience. You need to picture the audience you are addressing, and how both of you relate to one another as a presentation proceeds. How does the setting (e.g., small vs. large room), time of day (early morning vs. right after lunch), their initial opinion of you and your message impact on the presentation.

    If your PowerPoint is a template with the actual speech customized to each audience, only through rehearsing can you figure out what it is that this unique audience needs to hear, and how to organize the information so it flows and produces the desired reactions. In your “mind’s eye”, you should see how the members of the audience are going to reacting, and how you will respond to them. If you’re dragging on, bored by the information and/or repeating yourself, can you really imagine them excited and sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the next section? Not likely. Selling is the transfer of enthusiasm – you need to see, feel and hear your enthusiasm and how it resonates with the audience to create it for them.
  2. It reduces “Stage Fright”. The Number one fear that people admit to, is the fear of public speaking. For most that means stage fright – feeling uncomfortable being in front of an unfamiliar audience. In contrast, when people present to people they already know (e.g., relatives and friends around holiday time) they don’t experience such fears. So, practicing with similar audiences and/or picturing the audience as you practice, reduces this fear.
  3. Competence generates confidence. By practicing how you’re customizing the message to this specific audience, you’re improving your presentation competence: saying the right things. As you see, feel and hear yourself connecting to the audience, you feel more confident. And as you exuding confidence, you’re transferring enthusiasm to the audience increasing persuasive impact.
  4. You’re in control of the flow. By practicing how each part of the story you’re telling connects to the other parties, you take control of the presentation. That means you can tell the story and have the visuals appear to complement what you’re saying – rather than waiting for each slide to come up as the trigger for the message you want to say. Further, when someone interrupts and takes you off on a tangent, you’re in control because you know where you want to go and can swing back and get on track again easily.
  5. Powerful presentations often reduce the need to negotiate several items. In the sales cycle, the presentation informs the prospect of the value of your products/services and the reasons to buy. Once convinced of the need to go ahead, you negotiate the terms. However, the more powerfully that you deliver a persuasive presentation, the less likely the prospect will want to deviate from the “proven successful system” that the “expert” is offering. Fewer demands for concessions, means getting more of what you want, more easily,

So, whenever possible, rehearse until you feel competent and confident.

Generate Trust in You When Presenting

Two key emotions need to be invoked in an audience during a presentation. The first is enthusiasm and the second is trust.

In prior newsletters, we've agreed with Brian Tracy's definition of selling - it's the transfer of enthusiasm. The speaker must exude confidence in the product/service and the company and communicate that he/she believes it will fit perfectly into the user's plans for it. It's the style of the message here that is key.

Trust is more difficult to instill, because it's the summative feeling that the audience has about you after evaluating you, your company and your offerings over time. Yet it is critical to successful selling because it's the key to eliminating objections based on any remaining fear, uncertainty and doubt.

You earn trust by maintaining great relationships with customers who use your products, and being so confident of the ongoing relationship, that you relate stories that position you as the "problem solver". Trust arises based on your ability to deliver the desired service/products correctly the first time; it is generated when you correct problems quickly and efficiently with the goal of keeping the client happy. The buyer feels that you are worthy of being trusted by hearing testimonials, case studies, product reviews, results of satisfaction surveys and other third party actions that effectively endorse you as a trusted "partners".

When presenting take the time to demonstrate your fine qualities and actions that make you trust worthy!

Vistage "Best of the Best"

Vistage New York last year published the 6 volume set of Vistage Select, a “best of the best” articles from Vistage Village's 6000 whitepapers. Feel free to download those that interest you. Also, share the links with colleagues who might appreciate them.

2013 Keynotes & Workshops

In 2013, Dr. Cahn and the Presentation Excellence Group are offering keynotes and workshops on the following topics for corporation, associations and other interested groups.

For bookings, contact 646-290-7664 or

Workshop Invitation!
Executive Presentation
Training Workshop

Hosted by Jerry Cahn, Ph.D., J.D.
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are your presentations really working for you? Is your PowerPoint making it easier for you to get the message to the audience, or are you working hard to overcome its flaws? Will you "get through this presentation" and then try to forget it – or will it be a stepping stone in making your career?

Present like a Pro enables you to close more deals and enhance your career. Learn how to create an audience-driven Authentic presentation (ADAP), by mastering the 5 S's:
  • Substance: Include information that's important and eliminate distractive clutter
  • Structure: organize the material to guide audience decision-making.
  • Style: Make it engaging with great graphics and visual metaphors.
  • Setting: Respond to the impact of time and place on audience responsiveness.
  • Speaking skills: overcome fears, exude confidence & project a leader presence.

During this program you'll practice by delivering your own presentation, and get feedback from video and the group. To promote your company, service or product - and your career, don't miss this workshop. To register for the Early Bird Special, click here.

Yes, we also offer in-house corporate group training and one-on-one coaching. Share with us your needs and we'll find the right solution. Click here.

Corporate Training Brochure!
Click to download!

For a Powerful, Inspiring Keynote Speaker in 2013, contact Dr. Cahn:

Presentation Excellence, Inc. * 31 East 32 Street (3rd Floor) * New York, NY 10016 P: 646-290-7664 * F: 646-478-9435

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