As a conference speaker, the best sales pitch you can offer on stage is a presentation that educates and entertains the audience. One that explicitly shows them you understand what the audience needs.
I chat with a lot of speakers who assure me they didn’t do a sales pitch and then are astonished to find out that they did. I also chat with other speakers who are so paranoid about NOT doing a sales pitch that they strip out all the good parts of their presentation. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to prevent both of these situations.
Ban these words
Never say the word we. Never say the word our. Never say the word us. These tiny unassuming words automatically turn the most glorious presentation into a horrid sales pitch. And your audience has no need for a sales pitch. They are sitting in front of you because they are desperate for knowledge and insights. They want to know your personal opinion, what you have discovered from your techniques. They want to engage with and listen to you as a person. They’d rather not tweet how boring and out of touch you were.
Don’t name-drop your products
Companies spend thousands of dollars trademarking brand names. While it’s helpful to have names so that your employees and your clients know that they’re all talking about the same thing, no one in the audience cares about your cutesy names. They don’t care that you use SalesForce or SurveyMonkey. They care that you understand marketing and research. So if you find yourself wanting to say the name of a tool while you’re talking, instead simply say ‘these types of tools’ or ‘these types of companies.’ I can assure you that you don’t need to use any of your brand names or trademarked names in your presentation.
Don’t describe your company
Your audience doesn’t care about your company and they certainly don’t need you to present a detailed explanation of all the products and services your company offers, even if that slide only takes 3 minutes. That slide explaining your company needs to be turned into a discussion of how your specific topic impacts the industry. Don’t tell the audience that Annie Pettit Consulting is a business that combines artificial intelligence and eye tracking. Instead, tell the audience that eye tracking has seen huge advancements with the application of artificial intelligence. Strip out the branded content and focus on the educational content.
Don’t describe your company philosophy
Don’t waste valuable presentation time talking about your company mission and philosophy. It is not important for the audience to understand your company philosophy in order to understand the research. The audience doesn’t need to know that your company believes research should be easy. The audience DOES need to know how research can be made easy. They also don’t need to know that your mission is to solve problems. Instead, explain to them how research processes can be used to solve problems.
What is your reward?
If you do a great job of educating and entertaining your audience, they will line up to ask questions, get your business card, and they will email you afterwards asking for advice and copies of your presentation. Guaranteed.
Every person who’s ever sat in a conference audience