As you gather around the TV, munchies in hand, to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday, take note of more than just the big plays and even bigger commercials. Brokers and agents can learn a thing or two about acing their next presentation from the players on the field.
Whether you’re in a one-on-one meeting with clients, speaking at your local chamber of commerce, assuming a leadership role in community, or getting in front of your entire company or team, there are certain techniques athletes use to incite passion, intrigue, and even trust.
Ted Frank, founder of Backstories Studio
, which is all about helping their clients make better presentations, has tips for channeling these techniques to be a better presenter and communicator. “People have really good ideas, and we want to help them connect with people in their audience and make a bigger difference,” Frank says.
In a telephone Q&A, Frank offered ideas for gleaning business insights during the big game.
What can the Super Bowl teach us about delivering a powerful presentation?
What football has — and the Super Bowl takes it to another level — is tension. It’s why we love hot sauce and roller coasters; it’s that element of surprise. Every time that football goes up in the air, we stretch ourselves out on the edge of our seats and hold that tension until the ball drops. Advertisers get into it, too, as does the halftime show, creating as much drama as they can.
Now, think about how you can bring some tension into your presentation. Instead of leading with your most important piece of information, followed by a downward slide of material, make sure your presentation is on a rising arc. Give a clue, then another clue, and talk to your audience in the form of questions that can lead up to your big point. Create moments that resonate with people.
What are some of your tips for “warming-up” before a major presentation or meeting?
What athletes do well is practice over and over, even if they’re at the top of their game. They put in the time so that when they get to that big game, they can perform. Practice your presentation so it’s in you, and you don’t have to look at your notes and you can look people in the eye, which evokes trust, confidence, and it’s a lot more fun.
When I’m going to speak in front of a large group, I rehearse a presentation at least 50 times, but I rehearse the first few minutes twice that amount. That way my mouth will know what to do even if my head and stomach are a mess. Practice over and over so that it helps you relax and you can be your very best. And be prepared. There’s nothing worse than showing up and your equipment doesn’t work or it’s incompatible with the projector or system in place.
How do you revamp the everyday chart-filled presentation (with market stats and comparable sales) and get to the heart of what matters to the sellers?
Market charts all look the same. It’s a bunch of shapes and lines in bright colors. One thing a real estate professional can do is bring a human level into the presentation by sighting a story behind the data. The chart shows credibility — you did your homework and have the data — now talk about why they should care. Make it the numbers relate to them.
What’s the secret to nailing a high-stakes presentation when you need that win?
It’s all based on adding emotion. If they say, “I need more data on this,” it really means they need reassurance. If you’re talking to the couple on the couch, listen to them and understand what’s important to them and want will grow their dreams. The number of drawers in the kitchen isn’t as influential as saying “you could have a party in here,” or “the Christmas tree could go over here.” Help them visualize it.
How can broker-owners or managers facilitate unity and teamwork similar to coaches going into the big game?
Whether you own a large global company or a small firm with a few agents, you want everyone to have a united sense of purpose. Follow this three-step method to make your messages as clear and meaningful as possible.
1. Only focus on three points in a single presentation and continually hit on those three things during your meeting. You want everyone to have the same takeaways.
2. Make your presentation as real and relatable as possible. Frame all your data with example stories. Use visuals to help keep people engaged and on the same page. You want to connect on an emotional level, which will make people care.
3. Creating a sense or urgency so people will listen and move forward. You may need to deliver a warning or bad news, but also paint the upside and end the meeting with confidence in terms of how your team can accomplish a certain task or goal. You want to let them know that it’s within their reach and you’re going to lead them along the way.
—Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine