In the last post, we explored the importance of the presentation introduction. This week, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the insurance presentation itself. Specifically – your communication strategy. Because it’s not just what you say, but how you say it that matters!
If you’ve ever watched a dance recital, you know how fascinating it is to follow the dancers on stage from one move to the next. You may or may not like the style of dance but you’re compelled to watch because of their power and polish. Much the same can be said of effective sales presentations. You want your presentation to move gracefully and persuasively from beginning to end. It’s important to manage your tone of voice, the way you stand and the words you use. It’s all about affecting, or getting through to your target audience.
Stacey Hanke, a communications expert and author of the book Yes You Can, says being aware of what others see and hear and how they respond to you — whether it’s face-to-face, over the phone, or on a conference call — is the key to communication success.
Here are five of Stacey’s communication tips to improve your insurance presentation:
Increase your awareness. We don’t know what we don’t know. We have this mystery of not knowing what others see and hear when we communicate over the phone or face-to-face. If you don’t know how you and your message are perceived, you will never make improvements for greater results. Pay attention to your listener. Watch and listen for their reactions and responses. Learn how what you say affects people.
Pause more often. A mistake most of us make is saying more than our listeners want and need to hear. Slow down. Deliberately introduce more PAUSES. PAUSE if you want to show you can think on your feet and allow your listeners to understand your message, replace your non-words with a PAUSE. Less is more.
Connect or contact. Who are you talking to? Look and listen for the clues they get what you are saying. With eye connection you gain trust and connect with your listeners. If you talk you must listen more and really hear what the other person is saying. Without the meaningful connection, your listener will lose interest, question your message and have doubts about you.
Gesture to create a positive visual impression. When your gestures and speech convey the same information, they’re easier to understand. Confident speakers use their gestures to add emphasis to their words. Avoid fidgeting with your rings, fingers, pen, etc. by expanding your arms from your sides, make the gesture consistent with your message and then bring your arms back to your sides.
Speak to be heard! Your voice is your greatest asset. Do you sound like you mean what you’re saying? The sound of your voice shapes the attitude of your listeners even more than the words you speak. If you want to be perceived as confident, use the 1 – 10 scale. When speaking to a group of 15 or more, you must be at a 7 – 8 on the volume scale. From here, you adjust your volume based on the group and room size. Don’t whisper or talk too low for whatever occasion. Adjust your volume for maximum effect.
Reprinted with permission from Stacey Hanke
Web site: www.1stimpressionconsulting.com