resources to your attendee’s success, it’s
easier to mention them and move into
the sales process. The words you say
are important. They must seamlessly
and persuasively answer three “Why?”
questions that the voice inside every
audience member’s head is asking.
Once you’ve opened their minds to
the notion that your presentation is just
a part of the solution, that additional
resources might be useful, too, the
voice inside their head will immediately pose a second Why? question.
THE FIRST QUESTION
“Why do I even need resources?”
Attendees didn’t come expecting to buy. They thought they were
going to sit there, listen, and—
poof—change. Fail to answer
this first question, they’ll feel
sold to and they will not buy.
To answer, identify
the pain. Weave your
answers into content,
showing you know
their world and speak
“How many of
you wake up in the
middle of the night
thinking . . . ?”
“I know when
I was involved with
X, one of my biggest
struggles was Y. Does that
“What one thing could we talk
about today that would make this
a valuable day for you? How many
of the rest of you feel that way?”
You want people uncomfort-
able with some aspect of the
issues you cover; it creates a
desire for something to help.
Whether the audience
reveals their pain, you also
can appeal to their generic needs:
The need to remember what I know
they’ll forget; the need for support
as they try to change; the need to
have you with them after you leave
Craft your speech to include both
generic and specific needs early on.
THE SECOND QUESTION
“Why do I need these resources?”
We often think that if the audience
likes us and our presentation, they’ll feel
the same way about our resources and
naturally want to buy them. Wrong!
It’s not about like and want. It’s about
providing practical (they believe they
can do it) and applicable (they can see
themselves doing it) value, beyond the
killer content of your presentation.
Start with the need or pain—attendees
don’t have enough time in the day.
“How many of you have more time in
your day than you know what to do
with? That’s what I thought. In my
book, I have a quick and easy, three-step process for maximum efficiency.”
But it’s important you don’t tell them.
Of course you could recite the steps
from memory, but if you do, there’s no
sense of value created in the resource.
Instead, read the three steps—straight
from the book—aloud. Then casually
close it and continue. “As you look at
your busy day tomorrow, use these
three steps. You’ll have more time, and
you’ll always be accomplishing the
most important things . . . .”
The read-from-your-book technique
establishes value and it works well
when pitching from the platform is
Marilyn Sherman found another
seamless, effective way to demonstrate
practical and applicable value. A client
allowed her to put 15 of her $129
manuals in the convention bookstore,
but she could not mention them in her
handouts or pitch from the platform.
About two-thirds of the way into her
keynote, she makes a point that most