Get Presentation Results with a Clear Call to Action
June 26, 2007, Presentation Development
|When it comes to business presentations, the proof is in the pudding. Every presentation is a means to an end – whether you’re trying to inform, entertain, sell, or all of the above. Even the most polished presentation will fail without one key ingredient: a clear call to action.
What kind of action? This is a question only you can — and must — answer before starting any presentation. First and foremost, identify the goal of your presentation. Are you trying to win a new client? Explain a new incentive program? Reinforce (or refresh) your company ’s image with a new brand campaign?
A call to action is something you want your audiences to do, whether it’s make a phone call, “Click here to download a free trial!” or simply leave their business card at the door.
Not every presentation is about the hard sell. You may tell them to remember something (“Three keys to success,” or “The customer is always right”) or ask questions of their own (“Does your IT provider provide military-grade security?”).
Whether it’s a live presentation or a leave-behind, you should know exactly what you want your audience to do when the presentation is finished.
Tips for Developing an Effective Call to Action
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a call to action:
1. Keep the End in Mind: Every call to action should help achieve your overall goal, whether it’s to inform, entertain, or sell.
2. Be Specific: Even in a “soft sell” or informational presentation, you want to make sure your audience knows precisely what you want them to do — be as detailed as possible.
3. Provide Tools: Whatever your call to action is, be sure you give your audience the tools and information that transform them from passive listeners (or readers) to active participants, e.g. a website URL, price comparison, or three “key takeaways”.
4. Finish Strong: The closing of your presentation is often the last opportunity you’ll have to make an impact on your listeners. Use the final slide to state (or restate) your call to action – and never forget to provide contact information!
Don’t just wow your audience with high-quality content and polished delivery, seize the opportunity to turn their first impression into tangible action.
Remember: With a clear call to action, your presentation will deliver real results.