How many times have you been in a meeting where the sole purpose is for someone to deliver a presentation or pitch? It could be your agency presenting a new creative idea. Or perhaps its a start-up that is presenting why you should do business with them.
Or maybe you have even been the one giving the presentation?
The common fact with all of these is that in most cases, a presentation is a Hail Mary pass. If you are just simply giving a one-way pitch, you are giving the audience two choices at the end….to say yes or to say no. And the worst part about most presentations is that you have no idea which of those two choices the decision maker is going to make.
Some people love the thrill of the presentation, of trying to close the sale. But business should not be a sport for thrill seekers. Its not good business to have hold your breath and hope a decision goes your way.
To continue with the sports analogies, you should try to make your presentations a lay-up, instead of a Hail Mary pass. Make the presentation a formality where you know that the deal is closed before you even flip through your first slide. Work with the decision makers in advance so they feel bought into the work. Enroll your client in the process so they feel the same sense of ownership as you have. Devote as much time to making the decision an easy one as you spend making the presentation look / sound good.
Delivering a great presentation is an important skill in business (Steve Jobs has shown us that). But an even more important skill is being able to make the sale before the presentation even begins.