Presentation Skills for Home Party Plan Consultants
One thing that isn’t often mentioned by direct sales trainers or home party plan consultants is the need to give a decent presentation during a home party. You must inform and entertain your audience so they will believe what you say about your products and be enthused enough to buy them from you!
This is such an important aspect of a successful home party plan business that it’s surprising there’s not more discussion about it. In an effort to fill the void for presentation training information, here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for your next home party product demonstration.
According to Peter Urs Bender in “Secrets of Power Presentations,” there are five key components to delivering a successful presentation. They are:
1. The Speech: This is the actual presentation itself, the language and words you use. Your verbal expressions. How well you write and/or communicate your message.
TIP: Write out your script, or at least some notes, on 3″ x 5″ index cards so you can stay on track with what you want to say during the entire presentation. Include an introduction, a word of appreciation to your hostess, the story of how you came to be a consultant, games, product demonstration, business opportunity, questions and answers, order taking and anything else you need to say.
2. Body Language: This is how you stand, the gestures you make, whether or not you make eye contact with your audience, and even how you dress. This can include underlying fear, over-confidence, and other perceptions that come through whether consciously or subconsciously.
TIP: Look your best and you’ll be more confident. Wear something you like, in a flattering color that looks good on you. Navy is a good color for a more professional appearance, red will make your audience “stand up and take notice.”
Keep your make-up to a minimum, hair well-kempt but not overdone. Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be standing for awhile. And above all… SMILE! It does wonders for your face.
Also, don’t overdo hand gestures, don’t fidget, and don’t whisper. A well-modulated, well-controlled voice in a pleasant tone is ideal.
3. Equipment: This relates to the kind and type of audio visuals you use, overheads, microphones and even helpers, if applicable, and how well you use them.
TIP: If you use posters or placards, be sure they’re laid out in order before the demonstration starts. Jot down notes on the back of any visuals you use so you know what they are and can show them without having to “peek around” or turn them over to explain.
4. Environment: This involves the choice of location for your presentation, the lighting, room set-up, temperature, noise level and other aspects of the physical environment where you’ll make your presentation.
TIP: Arrive early to set up your display table and products. Be sure to take a table of your own, even if the hostess offers one to ensure you have enough space, and include a tablecloth for added appeal.
Ask your hostess to adjust the temperature if needed so that guests don’t get too warm and fall asleep, or too cold and want to rush out the door. Also ask her to hold refreshments until after the demonstration so guests can focus on you and the products.
5. Preparation: This, of course, if how well prepared you are. Whether or not you’ve studied your script, prepared handouts, rehearsed introductions, presentation speed, and anything else associated with advance preparation.
TIP: This is the portion of your demonstration that you have full and complete control over. Dedicated preparation will make a huge difference in the success of your presentation.
Practice everything you will say and do until it becomes second nature. Practice does make perfect. And while the first demonstration may feel stilted and uncomfortable, if you hang in there, the fifth or sixth will be much easier. By the tenth, you’ll feel like an “old pro.”
Presentation skills can be learned. This isn’t necessarily something you’re born with, though “natural talkers” will–by nature–be more at ease presenting in front of a group. But even those who are naturally shy can learn to put on a good demonstration and present their products in the most favorable light in order to increase their home party sales.
Keep these ideas in mind as you prepare your next home party product demonstration. Planning for each aspect will help ensure you come across as a knowledgeable professional and will give you the confidence you need to make your next–and each following–home party a tremendous success.