Presenting your first public meeting can be a bit of a challenge to begin with but once you have begun, like most things, it just gets easier and easier.
I remember my first time renting a hotel room, practising my powerpoint at home, getting all my stuff together to show off my product, nervously waiting for the big day and the anti climax of disappointment to find out that on the day, no-one came.
Determined to continue, for 3 occasions I only had 1 or 2 show up but it gave me great learning and practice for the 4th or so occasion when I found my catalyst guy who brought 30 people and it has moved onwards and upwards ever since.
Since those early days in 2d013 I have presented hotel or public seminars and trainings in the U.S., Thailand, Italy, Sinagpore, Indonesia, Malaysia and most of all, my home country U.K.
It has been the key to my business growth. Coming from behind the safety of my laptop and P.C. has enabled me to grow by a factor of at least 50 and I now have an international business all beginning from those first meetings. So today I thought I would share my thoughts on how to begin
Beginning an offline presentatiton programme should begin with caution on your investment. Shop around for the most affordable venue. Like any risk, you need to use money you can afford to lose so you can continue. Work out your budget and plan for at least a 3 to 6 month programme of say, one event a month giving you tons of time for promotion.
Try to establish if the equipment you may need is supplied by the venue. Large screen T.V. with HDMI connection or OHP for your powerpoint if you are using one. Free WIFI for you and your prospects if you are going to present from the internet or offering interaction on social media etc.
If you talk to hotel or public meeting space co-ordinators you might find someone who is going to offer you a reasonable price if they think you are going to be a regular customer.
You should know from the venue what presentation equipment you will need to bring. Perhaps an OHP, Screen, Laptop, speakers, flip chart, product for presentation. Get all your ducks in a row and test everything before your big day. Be confident that you have sorted everything in advance and then there will be no surprises.
In the U.K. we have a saying of a belt and braces approach. Which means you cover yourself for all eventualities.
If you have a company powerpoint or you have prepared your own, the best thing to do is to practice in your own home before the big day. That could be just going through the slide show and silently practicing what you may say for each slide or, as I did a full on presentation. I didn’t do the actual product demonstration but I did go over each slide, on my feet, saying the words outloud! And, of course, on the days I didn’t get any people arrive for the presentation, I still went through the powerpoint at the venue.
4. The Dangers of Powerpoint
I am sure you have heard the phrase “Death by Powerpoint” . Well that is still the case. You are presenting to people who can read, right? So you don’t have to read every word on a slide. There is nothing worse than watching some one read to you when you are perfectly capable of reading it yourself.
Just present the basic points without looking at the slide over much. Engage with your audience not the screen! You will convert far more people that way. You will come across as someone who knows their subject and is confident in what they are sharing.
If you are making up your own slides. Use graphics as much as you can and try not to put too much text on your powerpoints so people are squinting their eyes to see your content.
My first network marketing company used the following phrase in their training and I have never forgotten it:
Use the salient points which will lead to a compelling conclusion.
Don’t flim flam and over complicate things. Don’t try to baffle people with science. Remember KISS, Keep It Simple, Stupid
This is the key for the success of your presentation. You need to have a confident, positive posture. Be yourself but your most confident, positive self. A sales trainer once shared his posture and confidence secret with me and a few others. He used to take a newspaper with him to every sales presentation and rolled it up and beat himself with it saying constantly, YES YES YES!! I learned this habit as well from Tony Robbins at his Unleash The Power Within Seminar. “Make your move!” , he shouted. And we all went YES YES YES. One of our company presenters uses the same strategy but with two clenched fists he shook both hands as he said YES YES YES. If you decide to do it, don’t do it in a crowded bar! Lol. You are going to cause a stir…. but find a place, in the lift in the rest room. A private place so you can prepare for that first event in your most confident state.
Present in a way that you are comfortable. Don’t try to be something you aren’t. I was a nervous wreck when I started but now I am very comfortable in front of lots of people. I have given talks to 1500 people for my Church in the past and regularly present my business opportunity to groups of 20 to 70.
And I go there knowing that just 1 sale pays for my trouble and any more than that gives me a profit. Personally I value my average sale at around $15000 in the first 2 years and it grows much higher over longer periods. So this strategy has really taken me to a different level and it is why I encourage you to give it a go for 3 months or so.
6. Marketing Your Event
Events in our network marketing business industry win prizes. We should show up to all within our power to attend. We learn from repetition and repetition builds knowledge and confidence. So if you have a team this is where your market starts. You say, “Hey, I am starting offline public seminars and you need to be there for 2 reasons. 1. You need to come along and learn for yourself how our business and product work. 2. You need to bring guests so they can see the benefits of this amazing business and product.Use me to promote YOUR business.”
So start with your team if you have one and your supportive upline. I had neither when I started. Literally no-one. All of my team members were far away , most in other countries, because I was essentially an internet marketer. So I was starting from scratch.
It pays to have a list; a phone list, email list, social media contacts etc to promote your event to. I have tons of contacts now but in the beginning I was cold marketing my business and asking people to travel from far away for my first events. Eventually though, the fact that I was very public with my marketing and I shared my meetings with my company, I got two super teams started in my 4th month and that took me into a few different cities in the UK and I haven’t looked back.
FACEBOOK is a good place to start. If you have a facebook profile or page you can promote your events on there. Facebook events is pretty easy to get started with and you can invite everyone in your profile to the event through facebook invite.
Here is a good place to start: https://events.fb.com/
Eventbrite is a FREE programme if your events are free to attend. I use them a lot because it collects contact details for me to follow up via email etc and with each event your list building increases. You are also given a link to promote via email and social media which is very cool.
Facebook and Google advertising is a minefield but if you want to pay for advertising then there are a ton of experts out there ready to help for a fee. I prefer FREE and organic social media advertising personally. Remember, 1 new customer for me averages out at $15000 per sale but I certainly don’t want to be wasting money on advertising if I don’t need to. I prefer relationship marketing anyway. It’s what I like to do.
7. On The Day
You are ready! Be there early. Get yourself all set up and test everything so you are ready to go half an hour before your start time. Then go and get your dress and posture sorted. Be in a PEAK STATE when people arrive. The best confident you.
Have a registration sheet ready and make sure you get everyones name, email and phone number so you can follow up after the event. Don’t make people who arrive on time wait an inordinate amount of time for late comers.
Be the host with the most. Shake hands, smile and be gracious. Get your team to do the same. Tell them to be at the front and get their head nodding practice in! They need to be positive and supportive even if they have heard your presentation a million times before.
DON’T FORGET TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS AND PROMOTE YOUR EVENT AFTERWARDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!
And if you do this or have done it, please share your experiences below. I would love to hear from you.
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