Presentation Tip #52 - Open with a Success Story

Open Your Presentation With a Success StoryWhen you deliver a sales presentation, leadership speech or motivational talk - open with a success story.

Why?
It grabs attention.
It offers hope.It enhances your credibility.It's more memorable.

Success Grabs Attention
To capture attention at the beginning of your presentation deliver a success story. More people will listen because people prefer to hear from winners - not losers. Success creates positive attraction. If you start negative you will repel them.

Success Offers Hope
Start with success and you offer hope to your listeners. Hope is the universal drug. We all want it and can't get enough of it. Hope is a powerful emotion and motivator. If you are speaking to persuade then triggering hope will help move them.

Success Enhances Your Credibility
When you demonstrate success you will have more credibility. Give an example of your success - especially how you helped a client achieve success - and you appear as the expert. Success will increase your value. When you appear as an expert offering high value you will be perceived more as a helpful resource instead of an annoying sales person.

Success is More Memorable
Plant a success story in the minds of your listeners and they will tend to associate you with that story whenever they think about you. They might even repeat that story when they talk to others about you. Use that story early in your presentation and you can refer back to it when clarifying a point later in your presentation. The success story becomes a point of reference for shaping their opinions.
In my presentation skills seminars or sales presentations to prospects I have used the example of how I helped one client close a $10 million deal. Depending on the situation I might convey some of the detail and drama to effectively plant the success story in the listeners' minds.

Prepare Your Success Stories
List your success stories. Search your memory, colleagues' experiences and client testimonials for evidence of dramatic results. Then go back to those clients for more detail if necessary. Write out the best stories. Edit the story so is it easy to tell without detracting from the main message. Rehearse them so you can deliver them comfortably and convincingly.

Warning
Avoid opening with the company story about the founder's biography, corporate history and mission statements. That's usually boring. No one cares about your company until they know if you can help them.

Success Breeds Success
Lead with success stories because success is attractive and convincing.

George Torok
PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.
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