How To Prepare For Your Next Presentation

by | 2 minute read

You’re likely familiar with the phrase “practice makes perfect.” But have you heard of striving for “perfect practice?” This form of practicing emphasizes quality over quantity, and it can have a major impact on presentations. Nurturing a “perfect practice culture” in sales can not only lead to better presentations, but also less pressure on reps to perform. “A perfect practice culture can get to the heart of what helps reps deliver value to buyers and close more deals: sales readiness,” writes Forbes Councils Member Jim Ninivaggi. “When sales organizations achieve a state of perpetual readiness, their reps are prepared for each unique selling situation.”

Be Mindful About Your Preparation

Ninivaggi points out that he’s never heard someone wishing that they’d practiced less before a performance. But he has heard regret over not practicing more. Reps can avoid that that pre-presentation panic by bulking up their confidence and preparedness with “perfect practice.” It’s not running through a presentation over and over again, but rather striving for quality practice time. Nanivaggi shares four ways that reps can do this, including:

Before any presentation, focus extra on specific areas, such as the opening or handling objections. Rehearse these parts carefully, and brainstorm about possible unexpected things you may encounter. Ninivaggi suggests asking yourself the following:

  • If the call goes perfectly, what will my close sound like?” (Not only would this get me to practice my close, but it would also help me state my objectives.)
  •  “What are two questions I don’t want to get asked? How would I answer them?”
  • What insights am I going to share? How?”

Check out his Forbes article for the other tips that he recommends. Instead of dutifully practicing out of habit, be more mindful about how you are practicing. Like, Ninivaggi admits, practicing certainly isn’t glamorous. But if you put in the time and conscious effort to really nail down every aspect of what you’re presenting, you’ll notice the benefits.

Cultivating a culture of perfect practice, he adds, “drive[s] new levels of confidence in sales reps that lead directly to more winning and revenue. And in the world of sales, that’s perfect.”

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Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.