Do You Make These 5 Mistakes During a Sales Presentation Too?

We’ve all seen it. The presentation from hell, and often part of the reason is that they’ve made all 5 mistakes that I’ll cover in this article. And these mistakes don’t just cover those who make presentations on big platforms, you can see them in countless sales presentations.

So without further ado, lets look at the 5 mistakes and what you can do about them:

Winging The Talk Is Mistake #1 Any rehearsal that is under rehearsed, or worse not rehearsed at all, comes across as slow and a little awkward because the presenter is making it up as they go along and searching for the right word or an appropriate analogy or story to illustrate a point they’re making.

The solution is simply to rehearse. How much to rehearse depends on how important the presentation. The more important the more rehearsal is needed.

Starting Wrongly Is Mistake #2 By wrongly I mean with something that has no interest at all with your audience. For example I’ve sat through long, featureless sales presentations where everything that comes out of the salesman’s mouth is about their company, their product, their importance.

After all, unless you are going to buy the product why do you need to know about the company’s solid financial basis over the last 10 years, do you actually care that they have 100, 2000 or 5 employees? Are you even interested in how the founder started it and a brief (but too long) potted history of it so far? The answer of course is no!

The solution, cut out everything that the audience isn’t interested in. Move the company information to the back of the presentation and only present it if asked to do so.

Looking Away From The Audience Is Mistake #3 I’ve given up counting the times presenters look away from the audience, either at their notes, or more usually at the projector screen. Breaking eye contact with the audience loses a little bit of rapport each time it happens. As rapport evaporates an audience becomes restless, they begin to discuss the presentation amongst themselves and without the presenter to notice and react the whole energy of the presentation disappears and any likelihood of getting the point across goes too. Lack of confidence from lack of rehearsal can be one cause for this mistake.

The solution is to make sure you rehearse and remember to always look at the people in your audience, after all you’re trying to persuade them to your viewpoint.

Reading Something The Audience Can Read Themselves Is Mistake #4 As the presenter drones through the text on the screen they’re losing rapport and losing the fast readers in the audience who have finished reading everything on the screen and are now talking to their neighbour or looking around the room, or doodling.

Whatever, you’re losing the audience. Nobody I know likes being read to once they’ve left home. Reading text from a screen is simply a waste of both yours and your audiences time.

The solution to this is to make your presentations less text heavy and to add value to each slide that you talk about. Avoid using the words on the screen, summarise the slide, your position in the presentation, give a story or analogy.

Letting The Audience Have Material Before Your Presentation Is Mistake #5 When you’re given a handout what do you do? Open it! So your audience will do the same. When that happens you’ve lost them. Rather than paying full attention to the pearls that fall from your lips they’ll be leafing through trying to find the points you’re making in your presentation and missing other points while they do.

The simple solution is don’t hand out any material unless it’s simply to hand around the audience and which will be back in your hands before the point you’re making is finished.