People keep telling me that when give talks, seminars or workshops they rarely win any work … what can be done to get better outcomes?

The first question to ask yourself is “are you presenting to the right audience?”

All too often I see lawyers and accountants hosting training events, investing loads of time to prepare talks that will give away loads of valuable content for free.  The only thing is hosting events costs a lot in terms of time, budget and effort so if your audience isn’t chock full of the potential buyers of your services, you may as well stop doing it!

Another question I’m often asked is “are there any short cuts I could take advantage of?”  There are!  You can find out which trade bodies, associations and networks your clients, referrers and targets belong to.  Those organisations will be looking for experts to deliver training/updates for their members as those types of extras add to the members’ perception of the value of their membership fee.  Alternatively, it’s likely that similar opportunities exist for third parties to talk at events hosted by other advisers in related but non-competing fields.

The next question I’m usually asked is “can you improve my presentation skills?” and my answer is there are probably 5 key areas you should focus on (in no particular order):

1. How to close with calls to action

2. How to engage an audience so that you get their emotional buy-in

3. How to control your nerves

4. How to create slides and materials that communicate your message more effectively

5. The power of storytelling and how to do it

Presentation skills training is one of Tenandahalf’s specialisms so if you’d like to discuss how you can improve your and your team’s presentations, please drop us a line and we’ll find a convenient time to talk.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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