Make Your Next "Spotlight Speaker" Presentation Work Harder for You

The next time you're asked to be a "Spotlight Speaker" at your local business networking group, turn your presentation into an easy way to ask for referrals. Make extra copies of a professional-looking handout that summarizes the important points of your talk. Be sure that the information provided is interesting and of practical use to the average business owner. At the end of your presentation, distribute 5 copies of your handout to each member of the group. Ask them to forward a copy to 5 of their clients with a FYI note. This provides a way for each networking member to keep in touch with at least 5 members of their client base and can lead to more referrals for you.

Think "Alliance" for Your Next Seminar

A real estate agent in the Washington, D.C. area, seeking to attract first-time buyers, called upon some interesting business acquaintances to help him create a seminar that was a bit above the rest. Along with a mortgage company representative, the agent also arranged for a psychologist to present information on how nervous buyers could relieve stress and anxiety while weathering the process of buying their first home. A chiropractor presented details on how to correctly life heavy boxes and other ways to prevent body wear-and-tear during a move. A caterer prepared and served refreshments, and a moving company rep provided tips on saving money when planning a move. The seminar proved successful for all involved, with many leads and sales generated for all the presenters.

Presentation Power

Next time you give a presentation, make sure your introduction includes why your talk is relevant to your audience. This conveys your understanding of what is important to them, which helps build your credibility as a business professional. And remember to keep to the time schedule you've been allowed. Recent studies have shown that adult concentration peaks at 1 hour and 15 minutes. This includes a time period of questions and answers.

New Product Seminars

Do the manufacturers you represent have new products? Partner with them to present New Product Seminars on Sunday afternoons. A top-notch framer we know does just that, providing educational seminars that show off new framing techniques as well as his vendors' new products. It brings people into his showroom so they can review his other new framing materials and services.

Presentation Smarts

At your next networking/lead share presentation, mention a useful product that you wiIl be happy to send each member of the audience if they will pass you a business card. This will provide you with the info you need to call each member personally, as well as add new names to your prospect mailing list. Example: a computer repair technician we know offers to send each networker a small bottle of computer case/monitor cleaner. He mails the cleaner, then follows up with each member to 1) find out how they liked the product and 2) determine how he can help them make the most of their computers.

Presentation Smarts II

Prepare an written introduction about yourself and give it to the person who will be introducing you. It makes it easier on him/her, as well as gives you the opportunity to select the most important info you want the audience to know about your background and business experience.

Presentation Smarts III

If you have a presentation already prepared that has worked well with networking groups, make it work double-time. Offer to act as a "guest speaker" for networking groups that you haven't had a chance to "work". Many of these groups periodically plan a "Visitor's Day" to attract new members. Contact each group president and offer to be a "Visitor's Day Guest Speaker".

Famous For 15 Minutes

During your next presentation, reveal your most important information in the first 15 minutes. Studies have shown that people attention span starts to wander after the first quarter of an hour.