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Summary: Take time to create presentations for your meetings, and sign up more business.
Category: Small Business
Powerful Presentations Build Your Business
Copyright (c) 2003 by Angela Booth
You've set up a meeting with a potential client. You've dressed appropriately, your shoes are shined. You've got your portfolio and your business cards, and you have an idea of what you want out of meeting. In a word: you want business.
This is way 95 per cent of small business people approach meetings. However, if you spend a little more time preparing your presentation, you'll make a more powerful impact and will get more work.
The major rule is: when you've landed a meeting, always make a proposal. Have a clear idea of exactly what you want. You present your proposal via a carefully scripted, and rehearsed, presentation. This is not time to leave anything to chance, or to wing it.
Before you can create your presentation, you need to know what your proposal is. For example, let's say you're a freelance copywriter approaching a graphics design agency, with a view to being considered as a sub-contractor.
Remembering "WIIFM", (What's In It For Me), you realize that you will need to create your presentation's proposal from view of agency.
Before you do anything else, make a long list of What's In It For Them. Why does it make sense for them to sub-contract work out to you?
What's In It For Them is heart of your proposal. On your notes, make sure you put WIIFT on each page, so that it stays at front of your mind. It's easy to make mistake of talking about what you want, but please don't. You can leave a CD copy of your presentation with prospect, but again, it MUST focus on how you can help them.
==> Preparing your presentation
The easiest way to prepare your presentation is to use presentation software. If you own Microsoft Office, then you also own Microsoft PowerPoint, it's part of Office. It's worth taking time to learn to use PowerPoint. It makes creating an effective presentation easy.
What do you put into a presentation? Your proposal, and supporting material. Remember agency wants to know what's in it for them --- how you can help them make money, save money, and make their lives easier and more pleasant. Everything you include in your presentation --- kind of work you do, items from your portfolio, testimonials from satisfied clients --- must relate to *them*.
Think of presentation as being a combination of a speech, an advertisement for your services, a showing of your portfolio, and a proposal, all rolled into one. Aim to make it around 10 to 15 minutes long. Have some fun with creating presentation. Include plenty of slides with bullet points, and graphics.
You can get double-value out of your presentations. Just copy your basic all-purpose presentation onto a CD, and send it to prospective clients. You can also make your basic presentation a download on your Web site.