Here’s the truth: not all of us are born with natural stage presence.
But luckily, like most things in life, it’s something we can practice and improve upon.
I asked Tony Francetic, Solutions Consultant Manager at Thomson Reuters, for his advice on how to hone one’s presentation skills and get comfortable in front of an audience.
Especially those of us who have to sell very technical and complex solutions, may not feel as comfortable speaking in front of a group. With a technical sales or engineering background, you may not have had to hone your public speaking skills as much as a frontline sales rep.
So what’s a technical seller/ sales engineer to do?
How can we become more comfortable speaking in front of an audience?
According to Francetic, it mostly boils down to energy. It’s not a question of whether or not you “know your stuff” – you do. The question becomes, how do you engage with your audience, show your passion for your solution, get them to reflect that back to you and get excited about the purchase process?
The best way to accomplish this is to be true to yourself. It’s all about embodying your own genuine energy. You can’t copy someone else’s style or technique. Be authentic in your address.
And of course, practice. Listen to yourself. Watch yourself. Review your “game film.” Focus on honing your craft, because at the end of the day, you are a representative of your company and your product/solution.
If you have a bad day, if the weather’s crummy, if your coffee was bitter this morning… turn that all off when it’s time to present. Because the truth is, the presentation isn’t about you or for you – it’s for your customer’s benefit.
You are not the most important part of the presentation, so take the spotlight off yourself. The focus of your presentation should be the customer and what they need to get out of your time together.
The best part? Taking the spotlight off yourself also removes the pressure. Instead of focusing on being perfect, focus on what they need to hear from you. Because, again, it’s about your customer – they are the hero of the story. Your goal is to make sure that they are heard, understood, and engaged with the opportunity of your solution.
When it comes to speaking in front of an audience (like anything in life), the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be – and the more you will be able to bring in your own brand of authenticity and passion.
If you’re interested and want to learn more, feel free to check out the full LinkedIn Live here.