Surprising Product Presentation Tips for an Unforgettable Pitch
If you’re a Product Manager worth the title, you probably have the art of product presentations under your thumb. The problem is: everybody with something to sell knows the basics of pitching to potential prospects. We all know we should study the consumers, tell a neat story, resonate emotionally and show confidence.
However, just knowing these product presentation tips circling around the internet won’t put you steps ahead of the competition. Everybody knows and follows the exact same advice. That means that sooner or later, everyone’s presentations will start to sound the same. Doing this might help you not completely embarrass yourself by making obvious novice mistakes, but that’s about it. Going one step further is the only way to ensure you don’t stay floating modestly atop with the most of the crowd. In order to stick out, here are some lesser known, surprising product presentation tips that will have your prospects at the edge of their seats once you’re done with them.
Stages of Audience
In order to get you ahead of the game, we’ve prepared a list of product presentation tips from the perspective of your audience. Helping you understand some basic emotional and cognitive stages people go through when listening to a speech will help you know exactly how to frame your story.
Stage 1: Why Am I Here?
I know you’re very excited about your product. You’d be a pretty bad product manager if you weren’t. But you have to remember that, no matter how excited you are, infecting your audience with the same passion takes skill and reserve. Why? Because they’re going to be resistant.
Do you see that prospect you’ve been obsessing about? The one who’s rich, experienced and exactly what you need? Well, she might be the investor of your dreams, but she’s also a mother who slept 2 hours last night and flew into the room without the morning coffee. She’s not in the same emotional state as you. No matter how successful the room of people you’re presenting to is, they’re all asking themselves how and why did they get there. And you better answer that question before they start asking how to get out.
The first product presentation tip will sound like something you’ve heard before: Have a fun story to tell. And on the surface – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. When pitching a product to your prospects, absolutely tell a fun story with emotional resonance that has something to do with the subject.
But in order to get to the gist and the juice of what mystical entity actually grabs attention, you’ll have to deepen your narrative. Think of it in terms of plot and subplot.
A subplot is considered good when it’s interconnected with the main plot. It informs it by following the same themes and mirroring the experiences of the characters. That way, the story is more effective. Why? It’s because you’ve told your readers how to think and feel twice. And guess what? You did it without them even knowing.
Stories that resonate strongly with their consumers have something we can call narrative intent. Simply put, the narrative intent is the philosophy of utilizing every aspect of the story, including the subplot, in order to support, inform and advance the main plot. Both plots tell the same story, examining it from different angles. If you want to know more about which narratives to use to frame your brand, I suggest checking out these 6 powerful brand storytelling techniques you can start using today.
How to Combat the First Stage
To address the first burning question of your audience, and cut through their defenses to achieve emotional resonance, you’ll have to think of a story that has narrative intent. Think of your presentation as telling 1 story in two different ways: one is the informational story; the other is the emotional journey that informs it. That way, your audience is told what to think about your product, as well as what to feel. Telling the same story twice, affecting them on both the cognitive and emotional level, is sure to prepare them for what you have to say next.
To do this, look back to your journey working on the product, and find the story you think will parallel the troubles your product can solve. Find the core reason you’re so passionate about the product, and the subplot will write itself. And when your audience hears the real reason you’re standing in front of them, they’ll know they don’t want to be anywhere else.
Stage 2: Why Should I listen to You?
Once you’ve set up the narrative, your audience is hopefully at the same wavelength as you. They entrusted you with their attention, and now you need to keep it. Because they’re listening and because they need to trust you, this is the best time to get into the detail. And one of the most important product presentation tips to keep them from falling asleep is to instill authority.
How to come from the Place of Authority
You really need to include information that showcases your competence in the area. Make sure you’ve really thought everything through before stepping on the podium. Know the answers to the questions like What are the Costs, Which target demographic this product is for, How would you market it, etc. Talk about this so that they’re aware you know their worries. They really need to trust you on this, so and don’t make them regret giving you the attention in the first place.
Stage 3: Who Needs This?
When listening to you frame the product, your audience is going to ask themselves one crucial thing: How big is this? And in order to answer that, you need to think of every possible place demand could come from.
The best way to do this is to stop for a second and ask yourself: Would I give up on the project if I found out there was no demand? The worst possible way anyone can ever frame a product presentation is like they’re selling something. The best product presentation tip that will help you address the demand of your product is to give up on trying to sell, and start trying to improve.
Think of all the holes your product can fill and mention them to your audience. You don’t want to be leaving that work to them. But also, be honest, and accept that you won’t be creating demand for your product if there is none. And that you don’t expect them to take up such projects. Instead, say that you will make every effort to improve the product itself until it satisfies the wider demands, and you will accept every feedback in that direction. This not only removes the worries they have related to demand but the knowledge that you’ll be able to be flexible if it changes.
Stage 4: I’m Listening
Once you have both their attention and their trust, it’s time to ask what you came to ask. This is the perfect moment to structure a complete call to action that will make them do the rest of the work once you’re done presenting.
Tell them exactly what you need to do to move thing further. List every part of the project they’ll need to be involved in. When you’re asking for help, be exact with what you need help with, step-by-step.
Visualizing your prospects’ impact is one of the most surprising product presentation tips that will get them acting. Use the PowerPoint Charts and SmartArt options in order to do this. Just click on the Insert option in the ribbon of your PowerPoint software. Pick some great relational charts that showcase the exact influence the prospects will have over your progress over time, like a Line Graph or an Area Chart. These are pretty basic so every version of PowerPoint has them.
Next, you want to make sure your CTA slide is attuned to your audience as well. Use bold, warmer colors like red and, of course, make your font huge. While it’s great to make your CTA eye-catching, stay away from eye-popping. The aesthetic of a regular CTA has become overused. People already associate it with spam in their minds, so don’t go wild on any animations or eccentric color schemes.
The text in your CTA slide should be short and to the point. Use sentences and moods that evoke urgency (avoid passive like the plague), but please be reasonable. Even in this stage, you want to make sure not to oversell. If you followed through all the previous steps correctly, they’re already on your team. The only thing they need to do is sign the contract.
Stage 5: What am I Getting Into?
Once you’re done talking, it’s time for your audience to have the spotlight. If you’ve done your job well, there will be a lot of questions. In order to make the people you’ve just talked to feel like their input matters, you need to plan ahead.
The essential product presentation tip that makes your audience feel included is to structure a presentation that lasts no longer than 20 minutes. This will mean you’ll have enough time to say everything you need to say and leave some space for the audience to interject as well. (For more on that see: 16 Presentation Tricks To Keep Your Audience Awake And Attentive).
Another thing you could do in order to ensure maximum engagement is to structure a questionnaire or a quiz. Don’t make it too long and make sure it’s fun to do. Just remember you’re presenting to an adult audience so make sure not to pander to them too much. There’s nothing worse than being infantilized by a public speaker when you’re a professional grown-up. If the engagement is low, one of the best thing you can do is have some questions prepared in advance. Make them clear and specific. Let them mimic your own worries and insecurities about the projects, but only the ones you’ve thought through.
And the most important product presentation tip for answering this question is, to be honest. You are just someone who recognized a need for something and you’re doing all you can to frame it the way so that people think they need it. But remember why you needed it and the answers will come. Chances are if you noticed the lack – there’s a need for it. Just frame it differently.
But frame it authentically. In order to connect emotionally with the lack you’re trying to mend, you can get all the information from the very person that noticed that lack first. You. So be completely honest about your personal capabilities, and trust that your passion alone will be enough for them to trust you. especially if you don’t have a competent portfolio behind you just yet.
Now You Have a New Spin of Product Presentations
We all know that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If we take this one step further and apply it to product presentation tips, it’s insane to do the same thing everyone else is doing and expect to stand out. So next time you’re on that podium presenting your cherished product, do something different. Address the core of the product’s journey – something nor many managers are willing, to be honest about. Center everything around one core message and approach it with two different narratives that shed light on it. Use visual aids for both, information and storytelling, and don’t be afraid of underselling. Just talk about your product in the most honest way possible, and you will instill more trust than any marketer trying to cram in the info and force their product into the market it doesn’t belong to. Remember: Your product is your baby. It’s your passion. And even if the prospects don’t get on board, don’t despair. If you humble down and make the promise to adjust to the demand, your product will find the right hands in no time.
You might also find this interesting: 5 Psychological Tricks You Can Do To Sell More