3 Sales Presentation Tips To Instantly Boost Your Credibility

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a quick and easy sales presentation training and walk out with instant tips and tricks? In just about every workshop, people constantly ask public speaking tips–to use immediately.

Since my very first training on sales presenting, I’ve gathered a wizard’s bag of trick and tips that can help you. Instantly.

Now, I understand. That’s a tall order. A super-charged and magical kind of guarantee.

So I better reach into my purple velvet bag and start pulling out the rabbit. And the red silk handkerchief that turns into a dove. This is going to be fun. Everyone loves a little instant magic.

Alright. Here it goes.

Instant Tip 1: Get an “Um” Counter

“Um.”

This word hurts your credibility. “Um” as well as friends and relations of this two-letter word are big dings in your credibility as a sales professional.

It can be tough to spot all the “um’s” without help. This is why you really owe it to yourself to work with a presentation coach. If this seems too far out of range for you, then ask a friend or co-worker.

The simplest and most magical method is to make a list of all your favorite expressions. I call these ‘filler words.’

  • “Um”
  • “Uh”
  • “Ah”
  • “Er”
  • “Like”
  • “Ya-know”
  • “Basically”
  • “Really”

You can start with the list above; then, add your own.

Give this list to your kind friend who is watching you give a presentation. At the end of the time, notice which expressions have the most checkmarks next to them. Then, start whacking away.

I recommend starting at the worst offenders first.

Are you wondering why? The ‘filler words’ you use most often are creating the most negative impact. These words are annoying to your audience. And filler words create a backdrop of unprofessional delivery, which can severely damage your presentation.

The words filling up your speech are creating the equivalent of static on an old-fashioned radio. What do you do when you hear static? You change the channel.

Sadly, this is also what your audience will do. They will shift out of the ‘channel’ of your sales presentation and into what I call grazing. They’ll look out the window. Tap their fingers. Have a side conversation. Check email and voice mail. Do mental laundry lists of things they should be doing back at their desk.

You get the picture.

If you are creating more static than music, your clients and prospects will tune out. This won’t help your presentation, your sales or your quarterly numbers.

Instant Tip 2: Get a “Minimizer” Counter

“Kind-da.” “Sort of.” “Maybe.” “Could’ve.”

These words detract significantly from your message. This isn’t just annoying. It’s actively distracting and minimizing your value, credibility and professionalism.

In other words, in plain English: a big no-no.

If you are giving a sales presentation or needing to persuade an audience, these words are working against you.

Imagine for a moment that your presentation is like a train. These words are pulling your presentation off track. Literally. You might have all the facts, figures and financial data. But if your words are distracting from the message, no one will hear you.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

You want your ‘entire train’ to get to the destination. No sidetracks. No swaying. No diversion.

This is why, just as in Instant Trick 1, you need to have a presentation coach or colleague observe your presentation.

Do the same counting activity as above.

Next up, number 3.

Instant Tip 3: Get a “Beliefs” Counter

“I believe.” “We believe.” “It is our belief.”

Sorry. These have to go too. No one wants to hear your beliefs. Beliefs are not solid. They don’t have supporting data or research backing.

These words seem innocent at first.

However, if you use “I believe” with a senior leader, CFO or head scientist, your whole pitch is shot.

It’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull. They won’t see, hear or pay attention to anything else you’re saying.

Recently a senior director in a global pharmaceutical company told me: “The ‘belief’ word drives me crazy. I get furious when people use it.” When I first heard him, it took me a moment to understand why he was so upset and annoyed.

Then it clicked. The word ‘belief’ negated his entire focus and commitment to scientific research. No wonder this was such a hot button. Leave this word out of your presentation — if you want to gain credibility with research-focused decision makers.

Believe me. (Just checking if you’re paying attention!)

Rinse and repeat as in the other 2 tips. Work with an objective presentation coach to get specific feedback. If you are not able to work with a coach, ask a friend or colleague.

Write down a list of the words you use to sneak the nasty “belief” word into your speech. Track your “belief” words and usage. Wipe these words out of your vocabulary.

What can you expect from this kind of precise investigation?

You’ll hit a magical zone with your clients and prospects. Instead of hitting the wall and having your credibility questioned, they’ll listen. This is the master key to faster buy-in, easier negotiations, and bigger sales.