Re: Seminar

Subject: Re: Seminar
From: "Barbara A. Tokay" <batokay -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 00:50:00 -0400


I missed the beginning of this discussion, but I did think Leslie Johnson had
some good things to say about targeting the presentation to the audience. When
I've sold stuff (principally educational/promotional programs--not devices),
I've always started with the audience--what does the audience want to know,
hear, etc. Return-on-investment is certainly a big issue for investors, as is
knowing that the entrepreneur has a good grip on the market for the device and
on where his/her device fits into the existing market.

With regard to the style and format of the presentation: I generally think that
"less is more." Entrepreneurs and/or sales people tend to get carried away with
their enthusiasm for their product. I've always found a low key
presentation--not particularly "jazzed up"--with a few key overheads or slides
(if facilities are available for visuals) works best. My best presentations
have been the ones that involved the audience in a real way. If you are
presenting to a few people, you can have a "directed" conversation in which you
ask for ideas/comments about the product. Getting "buy-in"--up-front
participation in development or design--is a good selling technique but
difficult to do (& teach). This can be done by asking about market needs--"we
thought there was a need for product x because....what do you think? Is that
your perception of the market.?" or discussing problems with currently
available products and so forth...

I guess I'm saying that the best communication technique in a sales setting is
careful listening! Which is hard to teach!

If I were doing the presentation you described, I think I might just teach by
example--make a prototype sales pitch to the audience as if they were

One other thing: I believe I read another contribution to this thread in which
someone said: "talk fast." I disagree! The best way to control a presentation
is to talk slowly and calmly--make the audience lean forward to listen. And
make it short. Everyone's busy...they appreciate it if you take less time than
you've asked for!

Hope this is somewhat useful...good luck!


E,T, Hull wrote:

> Barbara,
> I envite you to enter the discussion "Communication, brainstormers needed"
> thread which I started a few days ago. In case you my first post , I've
> added it below.
> Thanks
> Ed Hull
> Professional English
> Vught, The Netherlands
> <ethull -at- wxs -dot- nl>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Situation sketch:
> I have been asked to give a 45 minute presentation on "communication" to
> beginning innovators and entrepreneurs in the medical device field. My
> presentation will be part of a half day seminar which is to give these
> people tips on how to market their ideas. Two other speakers will talk
> about "the added value of your idea" and "product oriented development".
> The seminar is in Holland and the participants will be Dutch.
> My first thoughts:
> *Communication is one of the most important factors leading to success.
> *Presenting an idea to potential investors, designers, manufacturers and
> customers and users (not always the same) is one side of the coin while
> listening to, and entering into dialogue with, others in the field to
> improve and further develop the product is the other side.
> *The Dutch medical device market is small and therefore innovators should
> start thinking "international" and using English right from the beginning.
> My questions to those of you who are interested in brainstorming:
> *What other aspects of communication might be important to these people?
> *What practical communication tips would you give these people?
> *What form would you give to such a presentation?
> *What are effective ways to make such a presentation an example of good
> communication? I don't want to just talk for 45 minutes but "spice" it up a
> bit with demonstrations or exercises or something active.
> Thanks for your thoughts, I'm all ears.
> Ed
> Professional English
> Vught, The Netherlands
> <ethull -at- wxs -dot- nl>

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