Delivering a marketing speech and presentation can be especially daunting, as you are often required to present important business concepts and propositions in front of high-level executives as well as peers. To be successful, take the time to prepare and rehearse your presentation.
Plan your presentation. First, identify the audience. You generally won't want to give the same talk to marketing executives at your company, marketing professionals at a conference, or the marketing and sales team at a client meeting. Once you know the audience you are presenting to, decide on a topic and your goals and objectives. Plan to give an extemporaneous speech - that is, not read from a manuscript or memorized, but developed beforehand and presented from an outline or notes.
Craft your outline to include an introduction, a body consisting of two or three main points, and a conclusion. In the military and other venues, this is characterized as "Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them." Include bullet and sub-bullet points for each of the sections of your speech. The entire outline should consist of one page per section so you can easily manage your talk. Alternately, transfer the outline to index cards and use them as the notes for your presentation. Keep track of your pages or cards by numbering or otherwise coding them -- this is critical! As you flesh out your presentation, update your outline or cards.
Prepare your introduction. Grab your audience's attention right away by telling a story or presenting facts that relate to your topic. State your goal and make a strong benefit statement for your audience about what they'll gain from it. For example, "Today you're going to learn how our company's marketing engagement platform can outperform the current marketing strategy by 20 percent." Then, provide a brief overview of the balance of your presentation - that is, tell them what you're going to tell them.
Develop your talk's content -- the "tell them" part, consisting of two or three main points, each in its own section. Tailor your content to your audience. For example, if you are speaking to a team of marketing research professionals, discuss marketing research techniques your company has successfully used in the past. Support your argument or main points with factual, evidence-based statements, such as market research findings, competitor data, marketing analytics and return on investment data for your products or services.
Fashion the closing statement, the part where you tell them what you told them. Re-state your goal and summarize your talk's main points. Tie in your topic by telling a memorable story that relates to your marketing audience. For example, you can talk about past successes with a recent client or how you helped the senior leadership team overcome a marketing obstacle. End with a call-to-action. Examples of calls-to-action for marketing speeches and presentations include asking for a sale, telling participants to visit your website for a special offer, or asking for a second meeting to discuss your marketing strategy in greater detail.
Practice in front of a mirror, with one or two close colleagues, or a videocamera, or a combination. Don't grip the podium for support and don't hide behind it. Instead, place your notes on the podium, glance at them, come out from behind the podium, and engage your audience. Return to the podium only to glance at your notes again for the next point. If you use index cards, you can keep the "current" one in your hand so you don't have to return to the podium as often. Don't hide the fact that you're using notes -- it's better to glance at them every couple of minutes than to read verbatim from a couple dozen printed pages.
During the speech, speak slowly and clearly, and make frequent eye contact with participants. One way to help "break the ice" is to make your presentation more interactive by asking questions early on and getting participants involved.
Using a PowerPoint presentation is an excellent way to engage your audience, but don't read the text from the slides unless they're quotes or statistics. Instead, glance at the slide and then return to maintaining eye contact with your audience while giving a brief synopsis of the slide's content. Give a copy of the PowerPoint presentation to each participant, and make sure that your contact information is prominent.
Never read a speech - you spend more time looking at the text than at your audience, and if you lose your place, you'll disrupt your presentation trying to find where you left off.
Never memorize a speech - if you forget a word, you'll disrupt the flow of the presentation and might miss key points.
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