If you have to deliver presentations at a trade show, there are a few things you can do that will aid you in not only doing a better job, but also help you get “positively” noticed by your company and by others looking to hire someone with your product knowledge who can also speak well. As a trade show magician, I have witnessed thousands of employee trade show presenters and most fail miserably. You see empty seats, bored attendees, poor communication of the message, as well as little or no follow up interest by attendees who heard the presentation – they just get up and leave. Here are a few trade show presentation tips to help you do a better job at the show and, also, achieve the little known bonus secret of standing out in the minds of others as a skilled communicator.
1) Be Prepared – Write out what you are going to say and remember that trade show presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes. If you can’t tell attendees what you offer in less than 10 minutes than you need to cut, cut, cut.
2) Call to Action – At the end of your presentation, make sure to include a “call to action,” which is stating that you would be willing to further discuss what you’ve been speaking on and tell them where you will be located in the booth. This is more effective than asking if anyone has questions. Get those with questions over to your demo station where you can provide more detailed information and penetrate the account.
3) Rehearse – So many employee presenters “wing it,” and it shows – it embarrassingly shows. Rehearse your script with your power point and do the whole thing including the call to action. Make sure that everything moves smoothly and run through it until you’re sick of doing it. Also, rehearse for failure. By that I mean, rehearse your presentation so that if the power point stops or there is another technical glitch, you can still deliver your presentation. Now some feel that they know their content so well or that they are so clever that they don’t need to rehearse. Let me tell you, even the most skilled comedians and speakers don’t “wing it.” There comments may look “off the cuff,” but they’ve delivered those same lines a million times. Winging it works if you’re a bird, but as someone who is representing your product and company, you look foolish. Rehearse.
4) Show Day – On the day of the show, get to the booth early. Get familiar with the microphone and do a microphone check. Run through your presentation again – complete with the power point – and imagine the seats filled with people and then do it again imagining the seats only semi-filled. This is called “owning the room,” and it gives you self confidence and allows you to command the stage – which is what you want.
5) Check Out Your Surroundings – See what is going on in the other booths near you. Does the booth across from you have a trade show magician in it? Does another have a professional trade show presenter or other attraction? Be aware of your competition, because professional trade show presenters are trying to attract the same attendees you are with one major exception – they are getting paid to attract a crowd and, therefore, have more incentive to outdraw you.
6) Show Time – Due to your following the previous steps, when it’s your time to “hit the stage,” you will deliver a well-thought out presentation with confidence and clarity. What is happening around you or how many seats are filled won’t affect you and, due to your call to action, you will later meet with attendees who are really interested in what you had to say.
7) Video Tape Your Presentation – Watch it and see where you can make improvements. Also, when you have enough video, edit your work into a short 5 minute demo. Why? You never know when this “video calling card” may come in handy should you look for another job. Doubt that comment? Please read the next step.
Bonus Time – According to 2010 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the number one skill employers consider crucial for employment is effective communication skills. As an employee who knows how to effectively communicate a message to a large amount of people, you will be noticed by your peers and executives from your company in a positive way. Additionally, other companies are always at the show and “power people” are always looking for those who have product or industry knowledge and can speak well. Therefore, the ability to do so is a skill worth cultivating.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been offered a job to be a sales rep due to my ability to speak to large groups. Imagine what could happen to you should you combine your expertise in your field with effective communicative skills?
With nearly 30 years experience as trade show magician and corporate spokesperson, I can tell you that if you follow these trade show presentation tips, you will do a better job at the show and your personal lead count will be elevated. Plus, you will be noticed by your company and by others at the show as a skilled communicator. This secret bonus may not only help you solidify your current job, but also aid you should you be on the market for a new one. If you want to have the seats filled for every presentation than go to my site at http://www.bobgarner.com/.
2011 Copyright BobGarner.