3 steps to calm sales presentation jitters

Mark Twain said “There are two kinds of public speakers, those who are nervous and those who lie.”

We all feel some degree of nerves before a sales presentation, especially if closing the deal could mean the difference between making your numbers or not. For some of us its jitters for some it’s downright panic. But wherever you fall in this range here are some ways to calm those nerves.

Eye contact. It is rare that a one on one conversation will make us nervous rather it’s when we’re in front of a group of people that we begin to feel uncomfortable. So why not view your presentation as nothing more than a series of one on one conversations? Make solid eye contact with one person in the audience, speak for a few beats or a phrase and then move to the next person. Consider each interaction nothing more than a brief one on one conversation. To read more about making eye contact click here.

Self talk. Most people, even salespeople, talk to themselves in a negative way about presentation. We tell ourselves things like “I’m so nervous” or “I wish I didn’t have to do this.” Brian Tracy says “Perhaps the most powerful influence on your attitude and personality is what you say to yourself, and believe.”  So what should we tell ourselves about our upcoming presentation opportunities? We must always tell ourselves “I’m ready for this presentation” or “I’m excited for this opportunity” etc. In talking to ourselves in only positive ways about our sales presentation opportunities we will execute more effectively and close more deals.

Practice. Finally, thoroughly practicing our presentation will calm those jitters. When you know what you want to say and how you want to say it you will be more confident and comfortable in front of your prospect. But practicing our presentation means more than simply reviewing our power point slides. To truly practice our sales presentation we need to stand up in an empty room and deliver the presentation out loud as if it’s the real thing. If you practice in this way four to six times before you deliver the actual presentation you will be astounded at the positive impact it has on your presentation.

Of course we’ll feel some nerves before a sales presentation, especially if there is an important deal on the line. But the steps above will put you in control of your nerves and put you in a position to deliver the kind of presentation that closes deals.

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