You’re getting ready to hit the trade show floor, and as the big day approaches, you run through your checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten a single detail. You get to the word “presentation” on your list, and it hits you – you have yet to select the person to deliver the presentation! You’re going to be tied up in meetings across the country, so you’re out. Who does that leave? Steve in Product Development? Melissa in Accounting? How do you choose the perfect presenter?
It’s tough to go with an employee when it comes to presenting. You might be scratching your head with that little factoid. “But if they already know the business and the product or service, aren’t they the perfect person for the job?”
It’s Actually Quite The Opposite.
Here’s a sample scenario that might sound familiar. You tend to send the same people to man your trade show exhibit, usually people that either handle marketing or sales, sometimes both. Because these people are great at what they do, they are a natural first choice to work your custom exhibit. This also means they know what to expect, and probably look forward to numerous things that come along with working the booth. They just can’t wait to see all of their favorite colleagues within the industry, and make new connections with others. They also know that customers are going to come at them with questions or just general chitchat, while potential customers are going to have questions of their own. How can they do all of these things and then be expected to conduct hourly presentations? It just doesn’t work.
Why not? Keeping them tied down to this presentation schedule doesn’t allow them the time with the customers. This will upset both the customers, who attend every year and enjoy chatting with them specifically, and the employee – they were looking forward to mingling and wandering the show floor, not standing there spitting out the same spiel over and over again. Do you think their heart will be into it? Maybe for the first couple of presentations, but by the end of the day, their message may fall flat.
There is another way – simply hire a professional presenter. This will ensure you hire the person that will draw a crowd, a crowd eager and willing to become new customers. But how do you know that you are hiring the right person for the job? Because really, anyone can say they are a great presenter. It becomes important to weed out those who simply aren’t up to snuff. How can you do this when you know nothing about the world of professional presenters? Here are some tips when you are in the market for the best salesperson money can buy.
A video doesn’t lie. If they are truly a high quality professional presenter, they’ll have links at the ready for you to see them in action. You want to watch their performance to see how they handle it, listening to how their scripted presentation sounds. It should come across as natural. Be sure they have a wide assortment of videos representing various industries, as this shows they can handle any material, whether it’s highly technical or not. If they don’t have videos, move on to the next person on your list. The same goes for the presenter that gives you links to rehearsed presentations that aren’t taped in front of a live audience.
Show me the references. This should be a no-brainer. When you are looking into childcare options, you check references obsessively. Well, treat your business like your baby! You want the presenter to be good at what they do and proud of it. If they can’t supply you with written references, they are either not good or not proud of the fact they are good. Either way, you don’t want that presenter. Move on!
It’s all about the ear prompter. What the heck is an ear prompter, and why does my presenter need one? While they might not need one, just the fact they have one is enough to peg them as a pro. It is that handy little inconspicuous earpiece that whispers the script into their ear so that they can repeat it line for line each day without having to spend a month memorizing it. Not only do they never skip a beat during the presentation, it allows them to deliver the same message without altering a bit of it while at the same time allowing you to make changes as needed to anything within the presentation. If they are a pro, they have used an ear prompter and they own at least two of everything needed. Why? If something breaks, they are able to carry on without needing to order new components. If they don’t have at least two of them or have them but have yet to use them, move on.
Shift on the fly. Besides being able to recite a script multiple times each day for days at a time, a high quality presenter will be able to add personality to the presentation. Improv works well for more than just comedy! Watch for little moments in each sample video you view that demonstrates this candidate’s ability to deal with the unexpected that might occur in the middle of their presentation.
Do you have an important message to convey? How effective are your own staffers at communicating that message? It could be time for a professional presenter!