Ah, the dreaded sales presentation. You’ve practiced. You’re wearing your best suit. The copies are collated. You even brought in lunch. What’s the #1 rule when preparing a presentation? Wait for it……KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
Okay, got it. But how well do you know them? Chances are if you’re presenting to a group of salespeople, you have a room full of I personality styles. They’re enthusiastic and excited to be there. They are with other people! Giving a talk to the IT department? Well, you’ve got C styles, and they’re proud of it.
First things first, you need to form a connection with the group. The goal is to teach them something, or you want them to buy what you’re selling. With any presentation, you need to speak the same “language” of each of these personality styles. Let’s take the C – Cautious type. What do they want to see and hear:
- Facts and data (and for the love of God, make sure everything is spelled correctly)
- Research statistics
- Quotes from experts(think expert witness in a trial)
- Have the answers
- Use words like “value” and “guarantee”
Now, what if you are a C style and you’re the presenter? Well, now. You better find some clip art to keep us interested. C types are known to have many facts and numbers and often too early in the presentation. They are detail oriented and of course, the presentation will flow logically. However, the goal is that connection with the audience. They need to work on their tonal inflections. A C style is often very monotone. Audiences tend to tune out presentations that are dull or lecture oriented.AA
This is not an article on giving sales presentations. There are many resources already on this topic. What I want to emphasize, is that the message you are delivering can be “heard” in different ways depending on the personality style, regardless of the product or service you are providing. By having the knowledge of your audience’s style, you are well positioned to get the results you want.
“What I want to emphasize, is that the message you are delivering can be “heard” in different ways depending on the personality style, regardless of the product or service you are providing. ”
That’s the Key of this post. I remember some years back when I was in a train the trainer course the instructor told us that when ever we will be in front of the room to imagine that half the room was blind and the other half was deaf. In this way we can reach the two extreme and everyone in between.
Thanks Juan! I’m going to try that too!
Thanks for the reminders. I have far too often misunderstood who my audience really was and the presentation didn’t go as well as i hoped.
This will be helpful,
Before I present I do ask the organizer for the demographics to make sure I understand who my audience is. Then I present the the concept by trying to capture the attention of the by trying to convey the same message through audio, video, a physical exercise and of course statistics and data and my story! For those of you just starting out this is a great post to learn from
Kathy, great information. And something I think experienced speakers understand. When I first started presenting in the fitness world (teaching group exercise classes) I would get upset because some of the people didn’t seem to follow what I was saying. Well it was me and it wasn’t me. Some of them were Russian and had a different grasp of the English language. It was the biggest learning experience I had when it comes to presenting.
I think a lot of people would be far more successful having this knowledge you provided. Thanks for sharing it.
Great pointers. Know your audience is paramount for effective communication.
Great information! I can definitely use it when I present my workshops.
Thanks Kathy for a great post with wonderful points and reminders. What you share is valuable whether we’ve been using DiSC for years and sharing it with clients, or whether it’s something new. We often underestimate the power and impact of style in any group or team work. I look forward to reading more of your posts – Jennifer Britton