Business presenting is a lot like professional sports. To challenge your competition, you must know everything about your opponent. How can you go into each presentation as prepared as a prize athlete? Find out here.


In sports, information about your competition is often readily available. You can find out just about everything online. Check out your competition by tracking previous scores, watching videos, and getting the scoop on your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.


But in business presentations, you may not have these options. Here’s how to gain exceptional presentation skills by training yourself. Follow these 6 steps to instantly gain a competitive advantage and win new business.


1.        Read Their Blog

One of the fastest ways to understand your competition is to read their blog. But don’t just read to understand the content. Look deeper. Look at the hidden beliefs.


Does your competition believe they have the market in a bag? Are they arrogant and self-assured? Are they rehashing old content or staying on a cutting edge?


2.        Review Descriptions

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Look at the descriptions of products, services and trainings. Do the descriptions sound unique? Or do they sound like last year’s worn out conference blurbs?


Are you looking at a large global organization—or a mom and pop outfit? Imagine you’re reading from a client’s perspective. What are your expectations after reviewing the material?



3.        Identify Assumptions

Now, step back. What are the hidden assumptions? This often comes as an intuitive hunch or feeling. Trust your gut emotions on this one. What does your competition assume?


4.        Clarify What’s Missing

With all the investigation from Steps 1-3, you have a wealth of insight. This is the critical step. What is missing?


If all your competitors sound like they are ‘eating the same cheese’ and ‘talking the same talk’ you have a huge opportunity.


You can spot what’s missing.


Picture for a moment a screen. All the lights are lit up on one side of the screen. Hmmm. That means there’s a whole lot of opportunity to bring light to the dark part of the screen.


5.        Leverage Your Strengths

The best brands are ‘best’ because they are rooted in core strengths. If you’re a rebel at heart, be rebellious. If you’re innovative, feature that. If you’re stead and reliable, emphasize that.


There is only one thing not to do. Don’t try to be all things to all people. That’s a recipe for failure. Use your strengths and you’ll have more fun—and more success.


6.        Be The Missing Link

Fill in the blanks here. How can you leverage your strengths towards the missing link in your market? This is where you’ll be authentic, be yourself—and provide your customers with exactly the thing they’ve been craving.


Here’s the beauty of this method. It works at a micro and macro level. If you do this for your brand—you’ll come out a winner. If you apply this to your pre-sales and sales consultations, customers and prospects will recognize the difference.


Looking for the best place to start? Focus on practical and urgent projects. These are terrific opportunities.


Pick a presentation that you already have on the calendar. Choose one that is coming up too fast. Organize your ideas and follow these 6 steps. You’ll think differently, plan differently and come out miles ahead of your competition.


Plus, there’s an added benefit. You’ll stay agile, flexible and fresh in your approach—while completing your project ahead of schedule.


If you are happy with how things work out, share this method with your team. If you feel things could be improved, work in a collaborative method with your colleagues to gain a significant competitive advantage.

 Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through online presentation skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at:
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