One of the most common questions we get is, “How do I stay on people’s minds a week after I presented?” It’s a valid question: a lot of the concepts, products, services and programs we present about have very long development cycles. It’s not always relevant to talk about closing a deal right after a presentation; sometimes we get verbal agreement to an idea, but all that does is initiate a follow-up process that can make or break whatever comes next.
If you want to make sure you leave behind enough personal capital to stay on their minds days, weeks, and even months later, here are some steps to take with your next presentation:
1. Be the most transparent, trustworthy person they’ve met: Nothing is more memorable than being told the truth in plain and simple words. In a world of Twitter hucksters and the deal-a-day e-blast armada, your audience is bombarded with promises each and every day. What they don’t get is truth. Being the guy or girl who can lay down brass tacks and cut through the bull has incredible staying power. When this is your personal “brand”, you’ll always be near the front of their minds.
2. Don’t tell us you know; tell us you understand: It’s always so refreshing to get a really great story when you have to listen to a presentation; usually we’re expecting a daze-inducing barrage of strange facts and poorly researched correlations intended to make us do or buy one thing or another. When we hear a story that puts our situation in plain and empathetic light, though, we understand more deeply that the presenter grasps our problems and can help us.
3. Share the love (again and again): Take great pains to gather email addresses, connect on LinkedIn, and show people where to find you on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc.—wherever you’re most active. If you do a good job with your presentation, people will be keen to know where they can get more. Go ahead and forge those connections on the spot so that you can execute a follow up strategy that keeps your perspective on their minds.
Of course, all of these steps help you make the most of your presentation by making sure you don’t lose the positivity bump that comes from delivering a great, story-based presentation. It’s still going to take a well thought-out follow up strategy to see your goals through to the end.
Question: What is your follow-up process after presentations? How long do you wait after a presentation before reaching out to your audience for specific follow-up?