My favorite part of public relations is client presentations. Not only is it an opportunity to show what you have been working on for months, but it is a chance to build a good reputation and gain the client’s trust. Sometimes your work is not enough to convince the client and an impressive pitch is necessary to convert them and set your idea apart from others. If client presentations aren’t your favorite part of public relations, here are a few tips to ensure success:
- Begin with a story. The best way to capture attention is to draw in the audience. Just like any well-written essay, a hook is essential to making a good first impression. The best way to do this is to begin with an antidote that connects with what you are pitching.
- Introduce yourself. This may seem like a no-brainier but introducing yourself involves more than just saying your full name. Introduce yourself, your business and your product/proposal. Why are you here? Why should your audience care about you? Give a little background about the basics of the company, the history, strategies and successes. Make your audience care. This doesn’t have to be long but it does have to be thorough enough to give your audience background context.
- Examine your target audience. Show that you understand who your pitch is for by giving an overview of your target audience. Explain what your target audience’s communication problem is. Have your proposal be an example of one solution to that problem.
- Engage your audience. Throughout the presentation, don’t be afraid to interact with the people you are presenting to. Ask questions like, “Have you used these techniques in the past?” or “Is this a challenge for your company?”
- Sell a vision. Your client wants to know that this proposal will benefit the company. Share your vision with them by talking about goals, objectives and strategy. Make sure your vision is specific, measurable, applicable, realistic and timely. You want an idea with quantitative objectives and qualitative results.
- Call to action. Include a call to action at the end of your proposal. What would you like to see happen? Be specific. Ask for their business if that is your end game and don’t be nervous if you don’t get the response you want. At the end, remain professional even after your presentation is over. Thank your audience for their time and always remember that there is no such thing as being over-prepared.