How to Follow Up That Killer Presentation

Back Web Only Jun 2, 2017 By Tony Oliver

Congratulations, you nailed that presentation! Much like a baseball player who reaches first base seeks to advance to second, you should seek to advance further and raise your stock, close your sale or secure that plum assignment. These five simple suggestions can significantly amplify the impact of your success.

Thank Your Audience in Writing

Yes, we live in the age of 140-character tweets and emojis, and a short note may sometimes be the “industry standard.” However, is that what you want, when a well-developed message will make a better impression? After a highly-anticipated date, would you rather get a stock line, or a personalized message? Now is not the time to lose momentum, but to instead accelerate and place yourself on another level.

Ask if There are Any Further Questions

Yes, you probably did a good job of answering questions during the meeting. However, sometimes fresh ones arise — perhaps a key stakeholder was missing, or maybe a new requirement popped up. Stay on top of the conversation to avoid surprises.

Ask your host if any additional questions were submitted after the talk. Was there some water-cooler talk? Follow-up discussion during staff meetings? Position yourself as a willing partner seeking to answer any lingering doubts.

Request Further Introductions and Connections

Tarzan was always going from vine to vine. He didn’t stand still and say, “Nah, I’ll hang out here.” Use the goodwill by obtaining names of other possible contacts who may be impressed by your audience’s endorsement. Treat it as having gone past the gatekeeper; don’t feel happy just staying put. (Look no further than Amazon: buy an item and immediately you’ll be recommended others to keep you shopping.)

Follow Up With Relevant Information

Suggest a good book, case study or article that is relevant to the topic, and study the customer’s industry. Keen analysis on the competition is always valuable, regardless of the company size. Adding value to your message can set you apart from others.

Inquire About Next Steps

If you have a connecting flight, you typically check whether your next flight is on-time, what gate it has been assigned and whether you will have enough time for your connection. A successful presentation should drive the same actions, to avoid being left stranded.

Keep a Log

We’re all busy, and can sometimes forget specifics about events, or mix them in our head. If you will be presenting to the audience again, why not write down what worked and what didn’t? Others in your group or business can also benefit, if you are transferring the account or training a new employee. Today’s professional athletes have every single move recorded for post-game analysis; they don’t rely on their memory when facing their opponent the next time.

As the spring in your step takes you to new heights, don’t neglect the value of your new-found capital. There’s no shortage of idioms (“strike while the iron is hot” or “being on a roll”) to reflect the halo you have rightfully earned. But much like a one-hit wonder who never again cracks the pop charts, you can soon be forgotten if you don’t follow up strongly. Just ask the Baha Men, still wondering who let the dogs out.

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