And now a few words from our sponsors

Trade show traffic
How to get more visitors to your tradeshow booth

Each conference sponsor had a booth in the tradeshow room and they were invited to the main stage to say a few words. This was an important opportunity that many of the sponsors failed to recognize.

Several sponsors took their turn at the microphone and bored us. They were clearly unprepared. Then one sponsor caught my attention with his first words. I listened to every word he said. As I looked around, it seemed that he had caught the attention of the entire audience.

What did this sponsor do differently that made him stand out?

First read what he said and did and then study my analysis of why it worked so well. I’ve segmented his presentation into four parts and added my headings to illustrate the flow of his presentation.

He grabbed our attention with his first words, “Have you tried to talk with your kids lately?” Then a short pause. “Some days you might not know whether to reach them via SMS, Facebook or Twitter.”

Then he explained what his company did to help organizations better manage communication with their customers especially with the demands of social media.

Then he stated his company name and invited people to visit his booth to discuss the issues and their options.

Then he stated his first name and again invited people to see him at his (company name) booth.

Now let’s look into the mechanics of what he did.

Most speakers make the mistake of stating their name first. That’s a bad way to start for three reasons:

1 The audience usually doesn’t hear the name because they aren’t fully listening yet.

2 If the name is unusual or not enunciated clearly the audiences doesn’t understand it and thus they don’t remember it. Plus they might be annoyed.

3 The speaker’s name isn’t of interest to the audience so the first words don’t grab the attention of the audience and that’s a bad way to start a presentation. Starting with your name also suggests that you are going to talk about you instead of the audience or their interests.

Notice how this sponsor grabbed immediate attention and interest with his first words. Why? Because he was talking about the audience and something personal that they related to. He didn’t start by talking about himself.

After he knew he had the attention of the audience he explained what his company did and how it could help the listener. He made it relevant.

At this point the audience might be interested to know his companies name. Remember that the purpose of this self introduction is to draw visitors to your tradeshow booth. They don’t need the person’s name. They need to know the company name on the booth. And you need to invite them to visit for a reason. State a clear call to action.

Now you can state your first name because the audience is ready to hear it.. Don’t make it difficult for people by giving too much information too early in the conversation. The real conversation will begin when they stop by your booth. At this time simply state your first name to appear approachable. They don’t need to hear or know your last name. Restate the call to action and end by reinforcing your company name.

To finish nicely, end with a smile and a friendly wave.

Notice the four important stages of your short presentation. If you think that’s too much work just consider how much money you or your company invested as a sponsor.

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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives

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