My Thoughts/Your Thoughts #3 — Present and Communicate Well | The Healthy Business Show — Richard Mu

My current job requires me to present solutions to prospects and to win them over. I am always on the lookout for input on how to hone my craft.

I recently subscribed to “The Healthy Business Show” and listened with great interest to episode 4 called “Present yourself”.

This show is presented by Fred Roed and features Richard Mulholland. Richard is a highly regarded speaker and started South Africa’s largest presentation firm.

As always, in this series, I will highlight portions of the podcast that I found interesting, give my thoughts and then ask you for your thoughts.

My hope is that you can join me in implementing some the concepts from the show and so become better presenters and communicators.

So, let’s dive in….

Achieve a result

“Remember a presentation’s job is to deliver a message - to achieve a result”– Richard Mulholland

The podcast starts with Richard being asked if he gets nervous before delivering a presentation. Richard replied saying that he didn’t get nervous during the presentation delivery but is nervous when preparing the content. The presentation delivery is important, but it is even more important that the content delivers the desired result.

My thoughts:

I need to remember that when I do a presentation it is not to look pretty or to pass the time. The role of the presentation is to move the audience to action.

Your thoughts?

Before you create the content for the presentation, do you work out exactly what action you would like from your audience? Do you have a structure that you want to guide them through? Do you have a call to action that has impact?

You must entertain

“When you are a public speaker you actually always have this double mandate. You have to deliver the message to achieve the result, that is part A, and you have to entertain”– Richard Mulholland

A paid public speaker needs to both deliver a message and entertain. They need to be memorable. This has more to do with how you structure a presentation than how you deliver it.

My thoughts:

I would like the impact of my presentations to last longer than the meeting in which I deliver them. I would like my theme and content to be remembered days, weeks and perhaps even months later. In my current role, when a decision maker selects a product, they need to have my presentation in mind.

Your thoughts?

What do you do in your presentations to be memorable? Do you try and entertain? Do you tell stories? Do you think it is important that your presentations aren’t just information sharing but are also memorable?

The presentation framework

“We present this as a framework and believe that it can work for every single presentation”Richard Mulholland

Richard spoke about the four steps within his presentation framework:

  1. Reason to care: You must buy an audience’s attention through outlining their business challenge before you sell them anything – even an idea.

  2. Reason to believe: Now that they care then the next step is to build trust - why you, or your company, is the answer to their problem.

  3. Tell them what they need to know.

  4. Tell them what they need to do/call to action.

You don’t sell features and benefits of a product or service. You need to tell the audience why they should care about the features and benefits. Richard uses the example of an ambulance. If you were selling an ambulance you wouldn’t sell the ambulance – you would start out discussing the accident.

When you tell the audience what they need to know – point 3 – it is the breadcrumbs leading to them figuring out what they need to do. The idea is for the audience to work out what is needed just before you tell them what to do and reinforce their own thinking.

My thoughts:

Do I think about my presentations within this framework? Do I identify their problem correctly and frame it correctly? Do I give them my credentials in as short a timeframe as possible? Do these credentials directly relate to the problem they are trying to solve? Do I present my solution to their problem in an intelligent, but simple, way that that will guide them to a solution I want them to come up with? Do I have an immediate powerful call to action that will get them to do something as soon after the presentation as possible?

Your thoughts?

What do you think of this framework? Do you structure your presentations in this way? Do you think it is worth putting in the time and effort into your presentations or is it not worth it?

Ask for the first step

“One of the mistakes we make in our presentations is we ask for the thing that we think we ultimately want. Rather ask for the first step” - Richard Mulholland

You might not be able to sell your product or service within a public presentation. The best thing to do is to get them to take the first step towards a later purchase.

Richard uses the example of asking for a meeting rather than asking the audience to buy your product.

My thoughts:

I am probably not going to build sufficient trust in a public, or first-time, presentation. Can I think of an appropriate easy first step that will be the next step along the journey I would like to take them on?

Your thoughts?

What is your call to action? Do you go for a large call to action, e.g., closing the deal, or do you get them to a simple quick first step?

There are quite a few other thought-provoking things that Richard mentioned within the podcast. I encourage you to click on this link to listen to the full episode.

Once again, I am always interested in your thoughts on this podcast. What stood out for you? Also – if you have a podcast that you have found interesting, I would love to hear about it.

Look out for my next blog coming later in the week – “Attention leads to Trust”.

The views within this blog are my own and don’t present the views of the company I work for

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