Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

When Presentations Matter – Words that Heal

In Presentation Tips on January 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

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Helping People with Your Words

Jim is a friend of mine.  He and his wife Aimee will be speaking at a sales meeting for a company that sells a particular medical product.  Aimee is in the medical field and will discuss the technical aspects of the product.  Jim will also be talking about the product.  But Jim isn’t in the medical field.  Jim will be talking about the product from a very personal and very emotional perspective.  You see the product that these sales people sell, changed Aimee’s life.

Jim was engaged to Aimee when she had her first surgery.  At a follow up visit scheduled with her surgeon, Aimee went in alone to speak to the doctor (since Jim wasn’t yet her husband) but Jim knew she was going to talk to the physician about the immense pain she was experiencing since the surgery.   When she came back into the waiting room, she was in tears.   In the hallway, still sobbing, she told Jim that the surgeon informed her that HE HAD FIXED HER and referred her to a psychiatrist.   Even with years between now and that day, Jim’s anger was evident in his tone, in his gestures and in his language.  More medical horror stories followed including several more surgeries.  Finally, a doctor who DIDN’T have a god-complex used the medical product on Aimee that these sales people sell…  and their product took away Aimee’s suffering.  At this sales meeting, Jim will tell his side of the story — how he watched the woman he loved — a woman who is in the medical field no less — go through pain and misery that didn’t have to happen.

Jim is in sales himself.  He knows how hard it is to make one more call when it’s rainy and yucky outside – when it’s easier not to.  But at this meeting, Jim will implore those 100 sales people to make that call because those sales people and their product will literally be changing people’s lives.  They will be releasing people like his Aimee from a world of literal pain.

Jim is a wonderful person as is Aimee.  The speech coach in me knows they will deliver a powerful presentation for that sale force and inspire them to help more people like Aimee.

And when those sales people go into a meeting with their next prospect, I pray they don’t open talking about the clinical trials and FDA approvals.  I hope they start by talking about Jim and Aimee.  Sure, later, those sales people can talk about the technical and medical aspects of the product.  But it’s that emotional connection, with real people, with real pain, that will urge surgeons to give more people like Aimee the help they need.

When you open up your presentation, do you choose your first words carefully?  Do your opening sentences engage with the audience on an emotional level?  Do you offer words that heal?

You don’t have to be in the medical business to heal a wound.  You’re in business to meet a need.  As you speak those opening words in front of your next prospect, what will you reveal about the wounds you heal?

Touch the heart first.  Then engage the mind.  Because remember, with your presentation, it’s not about perfection — it’s about connection.

Now go forth and heal!

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