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>> Script Tips – Ten Ways to Make Your Presentation Sparkle By Andy Saks, Chief Sparkler at Spark Presentations and an Allied Partner

Most presentations are stuffed with facts, figures and formal prose, confusing and alienating your audience. Shifting to a relaxed, clear, customer-centric style connects you to your crowd, so they’ll listen, learn, and remember. Here are ten tips to get you started:

audience knows the lingo; many don’t and are too embarrassed to ask. Enlighten them (“HDMI, which as you know stands for high-definition multimedia interface…”) and bask in their gratitude.

1. kEEP it shoRt: No one in the history of speaking ever complained that a speech wasn’t long enough. Say your piece and exit stage left. Your audience will thank you for respecting their time.

6. dRaW thE Bottom LiNE: Customers only embrace a feature when they know how it actually helps them. Link your feature (“It weighs 1/3 less…”) to their bottom-line benefit (“…which lowers your shipping costs by 23%.”), which almost always involves reducing time, effort and expense, and raising income, ease and enjoyment.

2. kEEP it simPLE: Speakers often try to squeeze in every single product benefit, just in case #67 really sways ’em. Resist the temptation. Stick to the 3-5 top benefits that make you stand out. You want them to have questions; it motivates them to talk to you afterward.

7. BE coNcREtE: Familiar, evocative imagery always beats vague, bland statements. “Move-in day can be stressful” is accurate, but “imagine your knees wobbling as you lug 78 heavy boxes on a scorching July day…” paints the picture and gets the sale.

3. taLk LikE You taLk: Don’t force your audience to decipher your complex or flowery prose. Set them at ease with a friendly, conversational style. “You’re right on target” makes the point quicker and easier than “You are currently matching the pre- arranged sales goals for this quarterly sales period.” And avoid vague, overcooked marketing-speak; everyone in your industry “facilitates a complete turn-key solution.”

4. sPEak to thEm, Not “thEm”: Audience members care about themselves, not your imaginary sample customers. Always aim your words at the people in the room, i.e., “ABC software lowers YOUR CRM costs while keeping YOUR profits up” instead of “those in the CRM industry will lower their costs…”

8. coLoR it iN: Feature lists are factual but are painfully dull. Use stories, statistics, analogies, quotes, props, tap dancing, anything surprising and colorful to drive your point home. The more creatively you say it, the more your audience will remember it.

9. doN’t fEaR thE chaiR PEoPLE: Spontaneous interaction with your audience turns your monologue into an engaging conversation and shows you care about them. Ask questions and welcome feedback. All this lowers your speaking anxiety too!

10. BRiNG thE fuNNY: Humor keeps them relaxed and attentive. Find common pain points and make fun of them. If comedy just ain’t your thing, bring free stuff.

5. dEfiNE YouR tERms: Don’t assume everyone in your

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FALL 2010

News

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NstaR WaLk

This past June Allied teamed up with Children’s Hospital Boston’s Blood Donor Center (BDC) and hosted a booth at NSTAR’s Walk to educate and encourage adults to give blood. Over 200 names of interested individuals were collected for the BDC. The event brought in over 5,000 walkers who raised more than $1.45 million which will go towards the care of children, program funding, and to keep the facilities maintained.

Breaking the Code…

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I’ve always been turned off by smartphones because everyone who has one seems to always be on it. But I’ve read a lot of articles on marketing strategies and started realizing that I was losing touch with how marketing was evolving. It’s important to see the “good” power these phones have on how people make purchases, get product information and communicate. Don’t let them scare or overwhelm you.

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