How to give winning client presentations
You’ve nurtured the relationship and now you have the opportunity to show your client how you can help them solve their problems to achieve their business goals.
How you present yourself and your business solutions to your client is vital to achieving a long-lasting relationship and winning work. Here are some tips to help you get it right.
Know your audience
Knowing your audience is the single most important part of your presentation. Try to answer these questions before you start:
- How many people are attending?
- What are their reasons for attending?
- What are their backgrounds? Roles?
- What is the age range/gender/biases?
- What motivates them?
- What is their knowledge of you, the topic and your business?
- Will the use of humour be appropriate?
- What will people hope to gain from listening to you?
- What will be taking place directly before and after the presentation?
- What will be their main concerns?
- What are their main challenges?
Set your objective
What do you want your audience to think, feel and do as a result of your presentation? Gather material, connect ideas, and think about how you will deliver.
Select your team
Having the right people in the room from your team is important. They will need to have the gravitas, experience, knowledge and style which will match that of your clients and their expectations.
Think about how you will introduce yourselves and how you will dress. This might seem trivial, but it is important to make your client feel comfortable in your presence.
Formulate your structure
Your opening needs to be impactful and compelling. Storytelling, showing a dynamic video, playing rousing music, or relaying an anecdote, joke, analogy or statistic are great ways to open a presentation and engage your audience from the beginning. There are a few other important elements to consider:
- Focus on your personal presence – how you dress, your smile, making eye contact, moving with purpose
- Attend to the routine matters as necessary – safety, timing, breaks, attendance sheet
- Start with a clear beginning – good morning/afternoon/welcome/thank-you for being here
- State the purpose, topic and objective of the presentation
- Check that the expectations of the audience and your objective align
2. Style of presentation
Decide on the style of the presentation – ideally to match the people in the room.
Use a direct style when the decision-maker is direct, the time is short, if news is good, to demonstrate your conviction to win work and when you need a decision or to move to the next steps quickly. State your recommendation at the beginning, followed by a middle which is light on detail and outcome-focused and an ending which re-states your recommendation and identifies the next steps.
Use an analytical style if the audience is risk averse, if the recommendation is risky or if the audience is hostile. This buys you time while you build rapport, gain consensus, build credibility and for the audience to consider the data. Give an overview of the detail, process, method, statistics and graphs and use the end to state your recommendation and give the next steps.
A consensual approach is useful when you want to set the direction but are happy for the audience to set the outcome. If the audience needs ownership or if you need them to gain consensus amongst themselves this is a valuable style to adopt. You can allude to the recommendation at the beginning, build consensus through interaction and facilitation in the middle, and at the end, ask for ideas before specifying your recommendations. This is an ideal format to address client challenges or concerns and you want to demonstrate how you can assist
3. Challenges + Solutions
Identifying the clients’ challenges and then demonstrating how your solutions can assist is an ideal format for most presentations
Your closing should summarise the theme of the whole presentation demonstrating clarity of intent and purpose. One sentence is ideal and you can refer back to the opening if relevant. Finishing with a quote or anecdote is also impactful, as is posing a call to action. If the expectations is for recommendations to be presented, then ensure you do so and outline the next steps.
Look out for our future blog on How to Deliver the Perfect Presentation.
If you enjoyed this article please feel free to like, comment and share on social media. If you would like more of the same, contact me to schedule a time to discuss how I can help you with your marketing, communications and / or stakeholder relationships, or Subscribe to the Conversations