RFP presentation tip #4

Use vivid language. Use words loaded with color. Emotion. Sound.

Why? If you use dead or uncolorful words, then when your audience leaves the room, they’re going to forget what you said. They’re going to forget you.

And when you’re giving a pitch presentation, being forgotten is not the effect you want.

If you use vivid words, your pitch is more likely to be rattling around in the decision-makers’ brains even after they’ve left the room.

Here’s an example:

–The door closed quickly.

–The door slammed shut.

Both sentences mean pretty much the same thing. But which one is more memorable?

Probably the second one. It has sound. It has feeling (your skin can feel the rush of air of the door slamming shut). Maybe even there’s some emotion, in the form of anger, or at least a gust of wind from an open window.

None of those things are present in the first sentence. And so when your audience leaves, or when you leave the stage, those sounds and emotions are more likely to remain in the audience’s heads.

Of the four tips, this is the hardest one to do yourself, because there’s so much noise going on inside your head. You have The Curse of Knowledge really bad. So this is how we go about fixing it:

First, we’ll take what we call a baseline, which is to record the client delivering the presentation. Then we make a transcript of the baseline, and we go through that transcript, looking for opportunities to use more vivid language. We rewrite the transcript with the more vivid language, and then once we’ve rewritten it, the client continues practicing, but with this new version instead.

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