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Direct Response Marketing

Guest Opinion: The Art of the Presentation

19 Oct, 2010 By: John Abdo Response

Your prototype is finally ready. You’ve been incessantly writing and re-writing your presentation notes. Your raccoon eyes are proof you’ve been studying late to memorize those notes. Your heart is bursting with passion as you’re certain your invention is going to make you rich. And tomorrow comes the day you’ll be disclosing your baby for the first time — to a group of complete strangers.

But these aren’t everyday strangers. They are movers-and-shakers strangers, the big wigs and dealmakers in the direct response industry!

Presentation Preparation

Great actors, orators, salespeople and performers all have one thing in common: Before they present, they practice — alone, in front of people, and even in recordings. And they carefully, and critically, listen to those recordings to analyze and tweak their presentations.

The day before my first live TV appearance, one of the producers handed me a book titled “Words That Sell.” This book outlined common words and phrases on one column then outlined replacements in another column — exchangeables. These are words that release more energy, ambition, power, conviction and influence. For instance: “My product is a good product” can be replaced with “My product is an absolutely incredible product.” Your choice of words can make any presentation far more effective and persuasive.

The Heart of an Inventor

Unlike paid pitchmen, inventors are exceptionally unique presenters because they gave birth to their idea and possess genuine passion. This passion comes across very convincingly, and it often wins over the hearts of decision-makers and buyers. Even though most inventors never end up as their products’ spokespersons, they must engage in the challenge of presenting their ideas to the movers-and-shakers. Disclosure meetings between inventors and dealmakers serve as the king domino that converts a handshake into a deal-make, officially kicking off a viable operation.

In addition to a passionate delivery, the presenting inventor needs to showcase why the product is so unique. The inventor should also focus on other items, including potential patent conflicts, problem(s) this product addresses, how the end-user will benefit, cost-of-goods, current and projected annual gross revenues from the category, and numerous other elements.

Even though most inventors are not utilized as their product’s spokesperson, they can, and are, extremely influential in motivating and educating their entire marketing and sales team, and ultimately the elected product pitchperson.

Pre-Presentation Tips

  • Conduct a thorough intellectual property search to ascertain if your product is novel or an improvement upon something that already exists.
  • Gather all data on the invention — research the landscape of the projected market and its potential buyers.
  • Outline all of the product’s unique selling points (USP): why it’s irreplaceable; how it’s used; and, most importantly, all of the consumer benefits.
  • Prepare the bottom line: list manufacturing costs, suggested selling price, weight and dimensions, weekly production capability, possible add-on or upsell items, and provide any testimonials, endorsements and/or clinical data, sales projections and gross generating revenue.
  • Compile a list of potential questions, objections and criticisms. Prepare yourself for the flip side of your presentation so you can effectively respond to hard-hitting objections. (Response, August)

Presentation Tips

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Look each of your meeting members in the eye.
  • Conclude the presentation by saying “It’s been a pleasure disclosing my invention to you today, and sharing its enormous market potential.” Then set up your post-presentation by saying, “Now I’d like to welcome your questions and comments.” n

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