Developing a sales presentation can be daunting, particularly if you don’t understand the audience or the product you’re trying to sell. Thankfully, there are a variety of different sales presentation styles that can help you determine the best approach for your unique audience, needs, and abilities.
Visual Sales Presentation Style
This style of sales presentation supports a notion we advocate regularly: your slides are there to support your argument, not make it for you. Visual presentation style is well suited for presenters with a lot of important speaking points that could benefit from the use of graphs, charts, and other visuals that help illustrate those points.
The visual presentation method is useful for engaging large audiences as they’ll be able to see what’s being discussed through onscreen visuals. This style is great if you’re presenting a product to a large audience with broad interests. It’s also useful for when presenters need to throw together slides quickly.
If the sales presentation doesn’t need a lot of visual content to explain the content, then this may not be the most suitable style. Visual presentation works best with strong public speakers, visionaries and storytellers who are very familiar with their content.
Coach Presentation Style
The coach presentation style is for energetic and charismatic speakers, making it a useful for audiences who needs to be sold on an idea. This presentation style works best for presenters who don’t need to get into details since it allows them to connect and engage with audiences through role play and listener interaction.
This style of sales presentation works well with conferences and audiences who need to be put at ease. For example, coach presentations can be useful when presenting to executives and decisions makers who need to be sold on an idea rather than the details of how change will be implemented.
The coach style isn’t suitable for naturally quiet presenters as they need to communicate the big picture rather than the details – thereby being more convincing that factually informative.
Instructor Sales Presentation Style
The instructor presentation style is helpful if you’re discussing a complex topic as it uses high-impact visuals to help convey your message to audiences. Instructors also use figures of speech, metaphors, and a significant amount of content that is logically structured to ensure audience engagement.
Think of Al Gore in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ – he presented massive ideas, challenges, and solutions with a plethora of visual content to support his argument. It was almost as if he was coaching us towards a more sustainable future.
This style of sales presentation isn’t suitable for short presentations as a lot of time and effort will go into preparing – finding relevant and compelling visuals while ensuring the presenter is very familiar with the content and can handle the stage effortlessly.
Freeform Sales Presentation Style
The freeform presentation method doesn’t use slides – opting for an impromptu style of speaking. This method is useful if the presenter doesn’t have a lot of time to prepare, only allocated a brief amount of speaking time, or presenting at a networking event.
It’s best to utilise this method the presenter is very familiar with the content as they’ll have no visual aids up there to assist them, relying instead of interesting stories to illustrate speaking points. This style is best suited to elevator pitches, networking events, and impromptu meetings as presentations are less rehearsed and more conversational compared to other methods.
With this sales presentation technique, a lack of understanding for the subject can make the presenter seem unorganised. Freeform presentation style is best suited for short presentation times and little opportunity to prepare.
Storytelling Presentation Style
Storytellers often makes some of the best presenters, particularly at networking events and conferences where there can often be a monotony across speakers. Storytelling presentation style can take longer to prepare and present, as this method often leads to question-and-answer sessions at the presentation’s end.
Using personal anecdotes, the storytelling presenter not only demonstrates a sense of vulnerability but helps create empathy amongst audience members. The storytelling style allows presenters to connect with their audience through stories and visual displays of emotion that help humanise the content.
Avoid this style if in the discovery phase of the sales process as it’s better keeping the conversation about a prospect rather than circling every point or question back to the product or a similar client. This style is great for conference speaking, networking events, and sales presentations where presenters have adequate time to tell their stories without taking opportunity away from audience questions.
If the presentation is more fact based, requires significant explanation, and doesn’t have time for a question-and-answer session, it’s better to explore other presentation styles.
Connector Presentation Style
This style of presentation welcome audience feedback as the presenter tries to connect with audience members through similarities. Connectors receive instant feedback from audiences, typically through freeform question-and-answer sessions that help highlight those similarities and encourage further audience reactions.
This presentation method is useful during the early stages of the sales process while learning about audience’s challenges and goals. Connectors help put audience members at ease by providing a platform for dialogue rather than a passive presentation.
When using the connector style, presenters must share similarities with their audience – otherwise connecting with them will be a challenge. Presenters also need to be open to immediate feedback and interruptions to properly connect with the audience.
Interactive Sales Presentation Style
Like the previous method, interactive presentations allow speakers to interact and connect with audiences in some capacity. This could be as simple as handing out speaker notes or an outline prior to presentation; or it could be as complex as delivering a non-linear presentation that allows audiences to dictate direction. Presenters can also interact with audiences through a whiteboard or by hosting a webinar.
The interactive style of presentation lets the audience directly engage with the presenter and content. While the use of handouts can be divisive, they do provide opportunity for audiences to retain more information and potential pose questions that further interactivity.
This style of presentation style is better suited to complex subjects that require handouts, audience queries, and discussion. If the subject matter is too simple or personal, the audience may not have much to discuss.
Educational Sales Presentation Style
The educational type of presentation is for a speaker who is teaching the audience. Presenters use this style when demonstrating a new product or service offering. This method is particularly useful if supported with engaging visuals and multimedia features. The idea is to think like an educator, building an insightful yet entertaining experience.
However, this method of presentation requires significant preparation and understanding, particularly as content and delivery should be relevant to the audience. The key challenge is developing all written and onscreen content with the audience as the primary focus.
Lessig Presentation Style
Developed by Lawrence Lessig, this method creates an almost hypnotic effect by only spending 15 seconds on each slide and, whenever displaying text, show the presenter’s exact words in synchronicity with the speaker.
This rather precise method of sales presentation is useful for presenting to large audiences as the rapid pacing helps keep them focused and engaged. This method also allows presenters to get through a lot of content quickly, both through visuals and emphasising key words.
The Lessig style requires significant preparation as presenters will have to ensure the timing of speech and visuals are perfectly aligned. Some may find this style of presentation visually jarring, so it can take some time mastering how to deliver in a way that would make Lessig proud.
Takahashi Presentation Style
Much like to Lessig, this style of presentation uses large, bold text on minimal slides. This method was created by Masayoshi Takahashi who had never used PowerPoint before. The idea was to use the main word or short phrase as the focal point of the slide – much like a newspaper headline.
Presentation slides use plain text in a visual manner to help audiences quickly read and understand the content. It’s believed this method is helpful with Japanese and other eastern languages those use non-Latin alphabets.
If a presenter ever finds themselves without presentation design software or a very limited amount of preparation time, the Takahashi method can help create a quick, simple, and impactful presentation.