10 Steps to Your Success

Recommend Next Steps

Rate Yourself Rate Your Employees
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Presentations are usually given so that the audience agrees to some type of actions. You will notice that many presentations are clear and specific until it comes time to either ask for the sale or ask the audience to do something. At this point, the presentation becomes unclear. When you give a presentation in which you wish the audience to do something, make it clear what you want the audience to say, do or feel. You need to take charge of stating your recommended next steps. How do you go about this process?

  • First, you have to determine what you want people to do as a result of your presentation. If you’re selling something, you probably want them to buy on the spot (wouldn’t that be nice) or agree for you to see the real decision-maker or tell you that in all honesty they aren’t interested.
  • Once you know what you want to recommend, decide how to best present that to the audience. Suggest your recommendations in a logical, systematic manner. Consider how you lead up to your recommended next steps. You must explain the specific product benefits to your audience. You must have proof that backs up your benefit statements. Only after presenting this information will your audience be open to hearing your recommendations. BUT if you go on too long with all your benefits and proofs the audience may be bored and frustrated by the time you get to the recommendations.
  • Be sure you have clear, specific words that describe what you want your audience to do and when you want them to do it. Communication is difficult enough. Don’t be vague.
  • You present your recommendations. Someone disagrees. You get upset, don’t. Instead be prepared to discuss some of your recommendations. Have alternate steps to recommend if you need to negotiate. Some presentations don’t succeed because the presenter refuses to negotiate. He or she gets so flustered that all the work done on the presentation is lost. Here are some keys to negotiating:
    • Never box yourself or the other side into a corner. Avoid ultimatums.
    • Always leave room for everyone to be able to change a position without losing face.
    • Learn the power of silence. You know what you think. Be quiet and find out what other people are thinking. The more you find out about how people think, the more effectively you can negotiate.
    • Make it easy for the other side to agree. Just because someone disagrees doesn’t mean that person is not willing to discuss and negotiate.
    • Ask questions. You don’t want to talk more than half the time. You’ve done the talking during your presentation. Now let the audience talk.
  • Finally, when you do end up agreeing, reaffirm the final results out loud. You may even wish to write them down on a flip chart or on the laptop so people see the words on the screen. End with a positive, upbeat voice, no matter what happened just prior to your conclusion.

back to overview »