5 client presentation pitfalls

Doing your research in advance is always a plus, but that doesn’t mean you should rigidly script what you say.

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Scripting the presentation too tightly. There’s no greater turn-off than a group of presenters who’ve memorized their portions like they’re interviewing for a telemarketing job. The presentation has to stay flexible to allow for changes in mood, unprompted comments and other signs of spontaneity. Presenters should be like the best improv performers in reading the room. They should be comfortable with one another, listen actively and be confident enough to offer impromptu responses.

Presenting too formally or too casually. It’s a good idea to decide ahead of time about wardrobe, introductions and speaking style. A good rule is to base the conversation on input from the prospective client, coupled with advance intelligence and insights based on research and experience. Any team presenting to client-side executives should have a detective’s dossier worth of knowledge about the crowd and be able to seamlessly match or complement them in tone and demeanor.

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