You want people to listen to you? You want them to remember what you say? You want them to buy from you? You want to be a better, smarter presenter?
Start with something relevant to your buyers.
Not with your corporate overview (slide or slides).
Not with a long, boring thank-you-for-your-time-we-know-how-busy-you-are.
Not with a lengthy introduction of your credentials or you and every person on your team.
Not with “key differentiators” especially when you don’t really know what matters to your prospects.
Start with something that piques their interest.
Consider asking a smart question to engage them.
Consider being brave enough to talk about the “elephant in the room.” (Your price, your sameness, your reputation.)
Consider telling them (concisely) what you know about their needs and asking if your research is correct or off the mark.
Consider starting by helping them envision their success.
Consider presenting a few options of things that you could talk about and asking them to decide what you should talk about.
Consider beginning with an authentic and meaningful story (no need for a lead in: “We’re going to start with a story today”)
Consider sending an agenda before hand and asking them to highlight what matters and cross out what they’d prefer you present as collateral or with an easy link.
Gain approval for a next step.
Ask: How would you like me to follow-up?
Ask: What would you like the next steps to be?
Ask: Do I have your approval to…?
Ask: What other questions can I answer to ensure you feel comfortable signing this agreement?
Leave them with a sweet taste in their mouth.
End with a focus on what matters to them (not to you).
Help them picture their success.
Close with a benefit not a transaction.
Make it all about them.