Sales Presentations – The Big Picture!

A common sales myth is that you make a sales presentation. Most B2B sales are not impulse-driven but the result of a set of sales presentations, which, when coordinated properly, produce the end result: buying.

The danger of the myth is that companies don’t coordinate all aspects of the presentation-related events. Typically, buyers have to develop trust and confidence in:

- the product or service

- the company’s ability to stand behind it over time

- the sales team/person’s ability to tailor the product/service to meet the buyer’s needs today and tomorrow.

A sales “presentation” includes all the buyer/company touch-points from receptionists to website presentation. All must be aligned to deliver, powerfully the key messages of why the buyer should choose your company, product and sales person. There has to be a clear and convincing, rational and emotional triggered communication of its competitive advantage. Without it, the sales person has to work harder than necessary to get the message across, as he/she has to overcome fear of risk, uncertainty about long-term success, and doubt as to the benefit. This produces an unnecessary expenditure of sales effort or, even worse, loses the sale entirely.

The sales team must make sure all elements of the sales-chain are aligned and focused. Depending on which stage you’re in, the presentation content differs because it’s addressing the concerns of different people.

- The Scout wants to identify firms providing needed products and services

- The Qualifier wants the detailed features: does the product/service meet the company’s specifications

- The Decision-Maker (and team of influential) needs to determine whether he wants to be held accountable for making the decision, given the implications for his organization.

The key to success is orchestrating the presentation’s message and means of delivery so all the parts are aligned and reinforce one another. Whether you’re coordinating a presentation by a tightly knit team (e.g., responding to an RFP) or coordinating customer service, sales and operations, you want to make sure that everyone looks and sounds like they are working together. Just as everyone on a relay team has to pass the baton smoothly to the next person, each person in a sales team needs to perform their part without gaps or unnecessary repetition.

The task, therefore of the sales director, is to be an effective “orchestra conductor” making sure that all the “instruments” are delivering complementary components of a powerful message that compel the audience to take the desired action: BUY!

Quieting the Mind and Being Present

Intuition is the language of the Heart. The Self speaks to us primarily through our intuition. It uses other methods of communication as well, but intuition is to the Heart, what thoughts are to the mind. Intuitions flow nearly constantly, like thoughts, but becoming aware of intuitions takes some practice because they are much subtler than thoughts. For that reason, thoughts usually win our attention over intuitions.

One of the benefits of meditation and other spiritual practices that quiet the egoic mind is that these practices make intuition more accessible. Most people need meditation or some other spiritual practice to subdue the dominance of the egoic mind. Once some mastery of the egoic mind is achieved, real progress can be made toward following our intuition.

Meditation, or any other activity that focuses the mind, causes the egoic mind to become quiet because it keeps the mind busy with a task. Actually, any activity we are fully engaged in can serve as a meditation. When we focus all of our attention on something, the mind becomes quiet and serves us only when needed.

We tend to skim by on the surface of life, instead of diving into the moment and really experiencing it. The egoic mind keeps us at a distance from the real experience and, instead, substitutes thoughts about the experience. It distances us from the present moment, where life is rich and alive. We can learn to be more present to the moment by just noticing what is going on. Being more present is usually accomplished by taking our attention off of thoughts and feelings and putting it on whatever else is happening in the moment.

Exercise: Being Present

Being present means giving your attention to everything that is happening in the moment, not just to your thoughts or feelings. If a thought arises, notice it, and then continue to notice everything else that is present. When you are engaged in a task and your mind wanders off of it, bring your attention back to the task, to the sensations that are present, and to the entire experience of that moment. With practice, being present to everything that’s going on in the moment will become more natural.

Doing a more formal kind of meditation is another very helpful practice. When done on a regular basis, meditation helps establish a calm mental state, which makes the intuition and consequently the Self’s guidance more accessible. Meditation is the most effective spiritual technique available for shifting out of the egoic state of consciousness and into the experience of our true nature. It is also no more complicated or difficult than being present to an activity.

Exercise: Sitting in Meditation

Make a commitment to meditate daily, even if you only do it for a few minutes a day. Start by meditating for ten minutes a day. Increase the amount of time you meditate as your enjoyment of it increases. Be sure to make your experience of meditation as comfortable, enjoyable, and pleasant as possible so that you look forward to meditating.

Retreat to a quiet place. Choose something to focus on that you enjoy so that your meditation will be pleasurable. If you are auditory, you would probably enjoy listening to music or to the sounds in the room. If you are more kinesthetic, you would probably enjoy focusing on any physical sensations and on any subtle energetic sensations that are present. If you are more visual, you might enjoy gazing at a picture of a saint, a work of art, colors, flowers, or something in nature.

Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring it back to what you are focusing on. Also notice what you are experiencing as you sit in meditation. While the mind is busy with what it’s focusing on, experience is still happening. That experience is who you are! As you practice meditation more, your mind will wander less and for shorter periods of time, and you will spend increasing amounts of time in the Now.

Once you begin spending more time in the Now, meditation becomes very pleasurable. The now is intensely pleasurable. It has everything: joy, bliss, peace, contentment, fulfillment, love, clarity, acceptance, and wisdom. You will wonder why you ever wandered from the Now, but then you will catch yourself doing it again. The egoic mind is very seductive, even though the Now is so joyous and full. Even those who live mostly in the Now find themselves wandering through the corridors of the egoic mind from time to time.

We can learn to be present to the thoughts in our egoic mind just as we are present to whatever else might be arising in any moment. Thinking can be like any other activity we are present to. When we are present to our thoughts, we don’t feel like we are thinking them, but more like we are noticing them being thought, which is very different from the usual way of thinking. Here is an exercise that will help you learn to be present to your thoughts:

Exercise: Being Present to Thoughts

Practicing being present to your thoughts will change your relationship to thought. Practice this as much as possible whenever thoughts arise.

Notice whatever thought is arising right now. Observe it as if you were standing at a distance from it. What is the experience of thinking? Notice that thinking seems to be contained in your head. What is aware of thinking? Is that Awareness contained by anything, even your body? How big is it? Does it have a boundary? What is the experience of this Awareness? That is who you are. You are the Awareness that is aware of thoughts coming and going.

The thoughts that arise in your egoic mind have nothing to do with who you really are. What arises in your egoic mind is not up to you. It is just the conditioning you were given. Without following a thought, commenting on a thought, or holding an opinion about a thought, simply observe how your thoughts come and go: One thought replaces another. Where do they come from? Where do they go? Notice how little coherence there is between thoughts and how they jump from subject to subject. At times, it seems they are designed solely to get your attention. What else do you notice about them? Are there different voices attached to them? Do you notice certain themes? How true are they? Do they have an impact on Awareness?

Being present to thoughts this way allows us to be objective about them. With objectivity, we can examine our thoughts in a way that wasn’t possible when we were identified with them. Through such an examination, a great deal can be learned about the nature of our conditioning, and what we learn about our conditioning can free us from it.

This new relationship to the egoic mind is very freeing. It not only can free us from our conditioning, but also free us to be aware of the fullness of the moment. Because the egoic mind no longer has the power to draw us into identification, we are free to give our attention to the whole of life, instead of to only our thoughts. What we discover is that part of what is happening in the whole of life is that the Self is speaking to us in its own way, through intuition.

From Radical Happiness: A Guide to Awakening by Gina Lake Copyright © 2008 Gina Lake

How To Make An Effective Powerpoint Presentation

If you need to make a Powerpoint Presentation, it is not enough that you just finish it off. It is of great importance that the presentation is done effectively to ensure that it will deliver the message you want to share.

Microsoft Powerpoint has made creating a project easier for you. With the templates and effects readily available for you, making a presentation is as easy as a few clicks of a button. However, to make the project an effective one, you need to take note of several details in the creation process. Read on and find out how to make an effective Powerpoint presentation for whatever purpose it may serve you.

Creating An Effective Presentation

There are basically three rules when it comes to creating an effective Powerpoint presentation. The first one is to ensure that the design of the project matches whatever the purpose is for creating one. The colors, templates and images in the project must all match your goals such as informing, persuading, selling and the like.

Another important rule is to make everything simple. There is no point cluttering one slide with too many fonts or images. The audience will appreciate a presentation that is easy to their eyes rather than one that appears too heavy and cluttered for them.

Lastly, make it a point that your presentation is consistent all throughout. Use the same kind of template for all slides as well as colors and texts. Though images can always vary per slide, at least make it a point that the style of each image is almost identical. This is especially true if you are creating a Powerpoint presentation in the professional scene.

Making A Presentation Effective

The process on making an effective Powerpoint presentation does not end in creating the presentation itself. Once done, it must be converted into another format to guarantee you that it can be presented successfully. The project can be converted to flash, DVD, video and other known formats. This can be helpful especially at times when Microsoft Powerpoint is not available in the location where the project will be presented. For instance, if it is in video format, it can be played using almost any kind of media player.

With this, it is important that you get a good Powerpoint converter to ensure that the quality and features of the original files will all be retained. Though there are a lot of converters that you can download on-line, you must be careful when choosing software to trust. Check the features of a particular converter first and also read several reviews of it to help you determine the best one for your needs.  For instance, not all converters can convert a presentation into flash so make sure that when you need a flash conversion, get a converter that can support such need.

Take note that in creating an effective project, it is not only about designing it. The effectiveness of a presentation can also be dependent on how well it is presented. Therefore, converting it into a different file will make the creation of an effective project a successful one.