Knowing how to deliver an effective presentation is an essential tool in the skill set of a successful insurance agent or broker. Honing your presentation skills can take your presentation from merely good to great. This is because the more persuasive and actionable your pitch, the more insurance sales you’ll stand to make by the end of the meeting. The key to your success in the insurance industry is gaining interest. Engage your audience not by regaling them with a bunch of dry facts. Tell them a story or make a startling statement—fast. The need for speed is due to the shrinking ability for most adults to stay focused. A recent study by Microsoft found that the average adult’s attention span has decreased by more than 25 percent over the last two decades. This is down from 12 seconds in 2000 to about 8 seconds today.
Break the Ice
Rather than dive right into your discussion, take a moment to let your clients settle in — integral to effective presentation skills. Show a bit of your personality. Also, show you can read the room by telling an appropriate joke or sharing a funny observation while your clients and prospects have a moment to settle. Find a funny and polite way to remind them to silence their cell phones. This gives your audience time to refocus their attention solely on you.
Weave a Spell That You Know Well
It all begins with you knowing your subject matter cold. Take time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with every bullet in your presentation deck. Speak almost conversationally about the content on each slide. Essentially look at each bullet as you elaborate on it, only to check that you haven’t skipped a point. Give case studies, for example, of how a specific coverage works for a business or how a particular insurance program or service positively turned things around for a client. This impresses upon your audience that you are the resident expert and helps to instill trust in your experience as well as validate your credentials.
Don’t Overload the Page
When it comes to the deck itself, many experts agree that three to five bullets per slide is best. A crowded layout with text that’s too small to read or fighting for position encourages the “too long, didn’t read” tendency in your audience. If you have additional information that needs to be in the deck, simply include it at the end in the “Backup” section for the audience to reference later on at their leisure (presuming you give them a copy of the deck), or you can refer to it during your delivery (e.g., “You can find more details on that product on slide 15”).
Wrap it Up
In these times of waning attention spans and busy schedules, you can expect to hold your clients’ attention for only so long. That’s why it’s important to stay abreast of the clock as you advance through your presentation. Keep on or close to the expected time length. Droning on for longer than expected will guarantee you’ll lose your audience’s attention and may even upset them if you make them late for another engagement by either starting late or running substantially overtime. Simply conclude with a brief recap of your main message, thank your clients for their time, and follow up appropriately. A fast, impactful presentation will help you make the sale every time.