I have been involved in leadership training for about 9 years including my start with a couple of small speaking positions where I got started. For most of those years I lead team building events, performed various leadership trainings and taught public speaking training. Most of my experience was helping people rid their fear of speaking/performing in front of an audience and becoming more confident and effective speakers / presenters. I learned how to teach and design persuasive presentations and passed it on in my training workshops producing confident and effective speakers.
When my business became slow I decided to contract myself out as a speaker for hire and was recruited by an alternative medicine company to educate and pitch their service. Their procedures promised a viable solution to traditional medical procedures that either failed or there was not remedy. My job was to educate and inform to convince and close a large audience of hopeful skeptics. When I first joined the company I followed the seasoned speakers as an apprentice so to speak for a certain time until I felt comfortable with the presentation. I will tell you that I was very apprehensive prior to my first speaking engagement wanting to first come off as “credible” and being able to present in a confident manner. My first presentation I closed about 35% and was very pleased with my performance.
As I progressed with my presentations and got comfortable and versed with my material, I learned how to build rapport at the beginning of the talks then used a formula intersperse covert sales pitches throughout my presentations. In other words I would educate the audience then show how the procedure and products made sense to remedy a certain issue. All throughout the presentation I would use a “soft sell “approach and then I would then ask questions to the audience to gain “buy in “many times throughout the presentation, this gave me the confidence that I was being well received and credible as a matter of fact a lot of attendees would ask me if I was in fact in the medical field further bolstering credibility. After 90 minutes of presentation it was time to ask for the order (get the audience to actually sign up for a prospective appointment to determine if they would be a viable candidate to remedy their issue, and that is exactly how I would close, first recapping or using a short summary of what was covered and then telling the audience if you are looking to see if your condition could be treated that we offer a consult with appointment to determine if their condition could be treated. As I mentioned, my closing percentage went up considerably when I understood the material and how to use it in tandem with this closing formula and that’s how I achieved an average closing rate of almost 40%. I will tell you this takes some practical experience and practice .I believe in this formula and use it whenever I have to persuade an audience and it proves to be a success.