Hey Newman, at the last trade show I attended, it seemed like every presentation had been written by the same committee. Is it just me, or do I need to look for a TradeShowSpeak/English dictionary? —Steve in NYC
We all know that digitized scalable monitoring can offer a compatible WYSIWYG Intranet or a horizontal, even-keeled knowledge base. But for an extended fault tolerant matrix or for ameliorated scalable process improvement, you really need extended systematic software. In fact, a vision-oriented actuating migration or a right-sized, bottom-line help desk can provide the kind of eco-centric customer loyalty for which we all clamor.
Something tells me that opening paragraph didn’t do much for you. In fact, if you were a trade show attendee listening to THAT presentation, I suspect you’d fake an “important phone call” just so you could get up and leave. Yet, many trade show presentations sound just like this. Many of them (most?) are little more than a staged reading of a marketing whitepaper — without any emotional connection at all.
Specs and high-tech talking points don’t sell products and services; enthusiasm and passion do.
Connecting with your audience is key. They need to hear the passion and energy in your voice, and they need to hear how that product will change their lives (or the world at large). How is this going to help people? Why should they care? What are the benefits for them? And why are you so excited about it? For some reason, answering those essential questions is most often lost in the development of the presentation script.
Whether it’s an enterprise-class server or a new baby formula, you MUST find a way to be passionate when you’re talking about it.
I recently represented a solar power company at a large home and garden show. The company had given me the basic data points about solar panels, which I incorporated into my presentation. After just a few shows, it became very clear to me that attendees weren’t paying much attention to those details. What they responded to was the way I talked about solar power. They could tell that I really believed in this technology — that it was good for the homeowner and good for the planet — and they flocked to me after the presentations with their technical questions.
They just figured if I was that passionate about the product, I must know all the nitty-gritty details. So, clearly what stayed with them wasn’t the technical info. It was the way they connected with me and my presentation OF that information.
I was getting qualified leads and signing people up for free in-home consultations based on the feeling the people had about the product and how it could help them … and the feeling they had about the “energy” of the presentation.
That energy — that passion — needs to be there all the time. If you’re the presenter, you have to find something about that product or service that you can really get behind. As a presenter, you owe it to yourself and to your audience to be genuinely passionate about your subject. The audience will pick up on that … or they’ll just be lulled into a coma by a barrage of corporate jargon.
If you’re not hiring a professional trade show presenter, then find someone in the company who is genuinely passionate and has the facility to deliver that passion on stage. Eight minutes is long enough, so long as that enthusiasm comes through. More than the size of the booth, more than the thickness of your carpet pad, this passion level really matters. The alternative isn’t pretty:
“We offer you a 24-7, mission critical, best-of-class, paradigm-shifting solution that will proactively enable cross-platform deliverables in a synergistic, distributed LAN/WAN environment.”