Successful presentations have a persuasive opening, body and closing.
Let’s explore the role that an opening plays when presenting a proposal.
Here is a checklist for your next presentation opening.
Such as “Thanks for taking the time to see us this afternoon”.
Command their attention
Quotations and statistics are useful however nothing beats commanding attention like the next point…
Outline what’s in it for them (WIIFT). Give them a reason to listen to you – outline the desired business outcomes that you can help them achieve; outcomes which you will have uncovered during previous questioning.
Outline the topic
Outline the topic that you are there to discuss
Provide a framework
Tell them what you are going to cover in the presentation
Bridge from previous meetings
Outline why you are there i.e. how the presentation follows on from previous meetings (which is particularly important if someone is attending the presentation that was not in the previous meeting)
Describe how you’ve helped other people with similar needs to achieve desired outcomes
Outline how long the presentation will take
Mention how and when you want to take questions; as you want interaction you might want to encourage them to ask questions as you go
Outline what’s going to happen next; and in addition
Set the tone that you want the session to take
Do you want the meeting to be serious or relaxed?
Here is an example to bring some of these points to life
Introduction and Pleasantry
Good afternoon, I’m Richard Woodward, Business Development Manager at Hometown Organisation. Thank you for your time this afternoon
Bridge to previous discussions and set the tone for the meeting
We know from our previous discussions with you that you are committed to becoming the number one software solutions company in the country by 2018 and in order to reach this goal you have identified 4 key outcomes that you need to achieve
Attract attention, topic and create motivation
We are here this afternoon to talk to you about an opportunity that will help you achieve these outcomes and shorten your journey in reaching your goal
Timeline and again create motivation
Over the next 15 minutes we will outline an opportunity that will enable you in one evening to engage the top 50 business leaders in this country; demonstrate your credentials as leaders in the business community, motivate your staff to reach higher levels of performance; and enhance relationships with your existing clients
So let’s have a look at what we will cover. We will start by providing an overview of Hometown Organisation and our Event. We will then outline the key features contained within the opportunity and then most importantly, we will show you how this opportunity can assist you in achieving your business objectives
We will then run through the timings and who on our team will make this work for you. We will run through our credentials in terms of how we have helped other organisations similar to yours to achieve their objectives and finally we will outline the required investment
If you have any questions please stop us as we go along
A copy of the proposal will be available at the end of the presentation
End of opening
Everything you say in your opening should have a specific purpose. If it does not have a specific purpose, then remove it as it will detract from what you are trying to say.