Flawless Presentation

LESSONS FROM THE TANK:

Flawless Presentation

SHARK TANK - "1108" - A mother-daughter duo from Atlanta, Georgia, introduce the Sharks to their baby product that makes baby-travel less stressful by helping them sleep more restful. An entrepreneur from Mount Pleasant, Utah, introduces his cold-weather clothing line that keeps you warm, even when wet. While entrepreneurs from Happy Valley, Oregon, hope their portable transportation device will become the next multimillion-dollar hit. Finally, an entrepreneur from South Murrysville, Pennsylvania, pitches his genius innovation in window screens on "Shark Tank," SUNDAY, JAN. 5 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless)
MARK CUBAN, BARBARA CORCORAN, KEVIN O'LEARY, LORI GREINER, ROBERT HERJAVEC

Let's face it - we're always selling something. Ourselves. Our ideas. Our products. Something. So what are the factors that determine if people are buying? Without a doubt, one of them is “flawless presentation.”

 

Think of a bad presentation that you've experienced recently.

Someone with really great intentions who just tanked.

This shouldn’t take too long... OK, got it?

Now - don't be that person.

 

Here's how:

 

PASSION. It all starts here. If you don't love it - live, eat, breathe, and obsess over it - why should anyone else? Sure, sometimes we just have to do what we have to do. But don't live your whole life that way. When you find your passion, you won't need to "sell" it. It will naturally present itself to everyone you meet in the ways that you think, act, and talk - even when you're talking about something else. Passion is the single, most powerful sales tool.

 

EDIT. Long before I walked down that ominous corridor to pitch FlexScreen on Shark Tank, I had to submit a demo to the producers. I was sure that my first 3 minute and 15-second pitch was perfect and that they would love it. A half-dozen producer-required edits later, and I was down to a 1-minute presentation that looked nothing like my original. "Quality over quantity" is rarely ever a wrong sentiment, and the producers were clearly correct to insist on the multiple edits. A good rule of thumb is that everyone else is less than half as interested as you are in what you're selling, so keep it moving. Editing is not a natural skill for most of us, and it, too, takes practice. Got 500 words? See if you can say it just as well with 400. Challenge yourself. People are busy, and they will decide almost instantly if they want to keep reading or listening. Engagement leads to interest, and interest leads to sales.

 

PRACTICE. You wouldn't think of entering a golf tournament, running a marathon, or performing a piano recital without preparation and practice. But, for some reason, we believe it's OK to "wing it" when it comes to our sales pitch. It's not. You are better than that, and the people who are giving you their valuable time deserve better than that too. Devote significant time and effort to your presentation - style, content, and flow. And ask yourself, would you want to sit through this presentation? Would you find value in the content, engagement in the performance, and excellence in the visuals? Keep working until your answers are all a resounding "yes."

 

PITCH. It's called a “pitch” because you are, quite literally, throwing your product or idea out into the universe. Be confident and take command (which will come naturally when you're passionate and prepared). You're here - they're here. You've got something to say that you believe can add value, so don't throw it in the dirt.

 

Joe Altieri is the Inventor and CEO of FlexScreen. His product – the world’s first and only flexible window screen - was featured on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank, where he hooked a deal with the proclaimed “Queen of QVC,” Lori Greiner. joe@flexscreen.com