Whether you're a keynote speaker at a conference, presenting a solution at a sales meeting or virtually speaking on a webinar or podcast, it's important that your knowledge and passion on a topic captures attention and makes the audience want to hear more. While you may be an expert on a product or technology, you may be less comfortable or experienced telling that story to an external audience. However, the strength of your presentation makes a significant difference in how your company, message, products and services are perceived.
To help you stand out, here are six traits that can transform any technical expert into a great spokesperson.
1. Know Your Audience
When speaking to products, technologies and your expertise, it is important that you keep the audience in mind. While your wealth of knowledge is a key strength, it must be communicated effectively to be impactful.
Your audience will have different levels of knowledge. Because of this, it is important that you tailor discussion based on their knowledge level and don’t assume they know what you are talking about.
Some ways that you can tailor your messages to your audience include:
- Spend more time explaining why a product specification or feature will be important to users, how it (product, approach, application, etc.) has been done before, and why your new way is better
- Prepare for questions about competitors, product specifications and comparisons to alternatives
- Share customer examples from the industry covered that are relevant to their reader (e.g., if you’re talking to a mil/aero editor, don’t lead with an energy example)
2. Capture Attention
Your audience is approached by companies offering solutions and services every day. Effective technical spokespeople must first capture the attention of the audience and draw them in to the story you’d like to tell.
Some ways to capture attention include:
- Start out by explaining exactly what you will cover in the presentation
- Get to a product demo (if applicable) within about 5 min of your presentation – less powerpoint and more demonstration/discussion
- Use case studies or real-world example use cases to illustrate your points versus just stating them
- Demonstrate your own passion for the topic
- Involve the audience by asking questions about their knowledge or thoughts on the topic
3. Adjust As Needed
As much as you think your story is great, sometimes people aren’t interested. It is your challenge to adjust to make it even more interesting. A great spokesperson doesn’t just run through their presentation, but is also aware and listens. When an audience becomes disinterested, a great spokesperson adjusts.
Some tips for adjusting include:
- Ask the audience if they’ve had experience with the product/technology/application you’re discussing
- Ask the audience what they’re seeing in industry
- Ask the audience about problems they face
- Relate what you’re talking about to common industry problems
4. Speak to the Industry
To build trust with your audience and establish your company as a trusted resource, it is important to communicate that you understand the challenges they face and can speak beyond the specific interest of promoting your company.
Some tips for speaking to industry trends include:
- Know – and have an opinion – about the trends in your industry
- Research industry forecasts and potential issues that could impact that industry
- Be aware of what your competitors are doing and don’t be afraid to acknowledge it, if their activity supports your message
- It is OK to talk about your competitors – you can speak about competitors and differentiate your offerings or stance on trends without bad-mouthing them, which is never a good idea
- Avoid jargon or terms that are specific to your company, unless your company is working to emphasize a specific term to assert thought leadership
5. Use Real-World Examples
One of the best ways to validate your main message is by providing real-world examples. An example can be used as a bullet point in a story or as the meat of the presentation. A great spokesperson comes prepared with real-world examples that support their key messages and are relevant to the audience.
Real-world examples can be sourced from:
- Your customers
- Industry trends and news
- Related images and videos
- Un-named, generic project examples based on real customer examples
- Other vendors
6. Close On a Good Note
After you’ve captured the attention of your audience, provided examples and proven yourself to be a trusted resource, you should restate your key messages and secure interest.
A great spokesperson isn’t afraid to end a meeting by asking:
- Was this information helpful?
- What questions do you have?
- Which news shared was most interesting to you?
- Are there any additional materials we can supply for your article, such as product or application images?
Here's some additional resources to help you with your next speaking gig:
- 8 Tips and Tricks to B2B Webinar Success
- 7 Steps to Starting a B2B Podcast
- 5 Steps for Crafting a B2B Podcast Content Strategy
- 4 Best Practices for Creating Effective Presentations
- Create a Killer Corporate Pitch Deck
Hire TREW for a speaking engagement or on-site workshop. Our marketing consultants will energize, educate and inspire your team with presentations on inbound marketing, content strategy and development, marketing planning and more. Our onsite workshops are ideal for teams who are seeking in-depth focus on a particular aspect of their marketing or who need help with a specific market or competitive situation.
Learn how to effectively promote your products and services by downloading our free ebook, Getting Started with Content Marketing: Year 1.