September 19, 2017
Ever seen a presenter ask “Any questions?” at the end of their presentation, and heard only crickets from the audience?
Asking for questions and getting none kills a presentation’s momentum. It usually goes like this:
OUCH. How’d that happen?
Chances are, you caught your audience by surprise. They didn’t know you’d take questions, so they didn’t think of any. When you asked, you caught them off guard.
I want your next presentation to end with a bang, not a whimper. So try these tips to encourage questions:
> TIP THEM OFF EARLY: As you start your presentation, tell your audience: “I’ll take all your questions at the end, so write down your questions as you think of them along the way.” That’ll get them active thinking of questions throughout your presentation.
> REMIND THEM: A few minutes before you take questions, say: “I’ve got one more slide to cover, then I’ll take your questions.” That’ll remind them to think of some questions if they haven’t yet.
> LEAVE ROOM: Starting a Q&A with little or no time left discourages questions; your audience wants to leave on time too! Instead, carve out 5-10 minutes or more for questions (and cut some content to make room if needed; your audience prioritizes the information they want to get over the information you want to share).
> USE A PLANT: Have a “plant” in the audience who’ll ask the first question (one you’re comfortable answering), which encourages other audience members to ask (and saves them the awkwardness of going first) and gives them time to think of something to ask.
> CHANGE YOUR PHRASING: Your audience may interpret the phrase “Any questions?” as a sign that you don’t expect or even want questions, which discourages them from asking. Instead, encourage questions by phrasing your question with a more upbeat, expectant tone: “Who’s got a question?” or “Who’d like to go first?”
> ASK IT YOURSELF: Ask yourself a common question: “One question I get often is…” Then answer it. Again, this encourages the audience to follow suit, and gives them more time to think of a question.
Q&A or not, ending your presentation by saying you’re ending your presentation (“OK, I guess I’m done”) will end your presentation with a whimper. You can easily replace that whimper with a “bang” by restating your main takeaway and thanking your audience:
“Folks, I hope my presentation has shown you that when it’s raining and you want to stay dry outside, use an umbrella! You won’t regret it. Thanks so much for your time.”
And thank you so much for your time!
by Andy Saks
April 28, 2017
New Canaan, CT — The YMCA of New Canaan, Connecticut, has booked Spark owner Andy Saks as its live auctioneer for its upcoming fundraiser.
Titled “A Night in Saint Barths,” the fundraiser will take place in April, 2017, at Waveny House, inside Waveny Park in New Canaan, Connecticut.
In his live auctioneer role, Saks will:
— advise the YMCA on auction item order and pricing
— write a word-for-word script for each auction item plus a “paddle raise” (fund-the-need) segment
— create a matching slide deck for all auctioneer segments
— create a looping slideshow of YMCA photos and auction items, to run during dinner
The event is being produced by Hollywood Pop, a full-service event and party planning company that designs and produces private parties and corporate events, including benefits, fundraisers, and concerts.
April 4, 2017
Spark professional trade show booth presenter Andy Saks recently completed a five-city swing of trade show bookings, delivering seven different product presentations for four corporate clients at five different shows in the United States and Europe:
RSA Conference (IT security) in San Francisco, for Fidelis Cybersecurity
HIMSS Conference (healthcare) in Orlando, for Citrix
Mobile World Congress (mobile technology) in Barcelona, Spain, for Citrix
ConExpo (construction) in Las Vegas, for Volvo Construction Equipment
IE3 Show (HVAC) in Nashville, for ContractorSelling.com
For each show, Saks either wrote or heavily edited his own booth presentation script, and tweaked accompanying visuals to match.
At ConExpo, Saks delivered three product presentations in rotation for Volvo throughout the five-day show, alongside Spark co-presenter Steve Multer, who Saks recruited from SKM Creative. Saks and Multer also served as co-emcees to help Volvo unveil its Golden Hauler and L350H loader for the global press assembled at the booth when the show opened.
At the RSA and ConExpo shows, Saks also delivered Spark’s booth staff lead attraction training program on site for his client.
Spark was booked for Citrix through trade show talent company Magnet Productions.
Photos and videos from the shows: