Tips From Drayton Bird To Improve Your Presentation

Drayton Bird is widely considered one of the top marketing experts in the world who has helped many organizations increase their sales.

“Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world.”

– David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy & Mather

David Ogilvy, the legendary founder of the ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather, was famous for shouting out at presentations: “Speak up!” Drayton Bird says that this is because Ogilvy had been “afflicted by more mumbled presentations than most of us.”

Bird’s advice is: “For goodness’ sake, do speak up. Apart from anything else, it makes you appear more confident.” Delivering an effective presentation is going to be critical if you want your peers to take you seriously. Here are some tips from the leading expert Drayton Bird:

How to Seize Attention in a Presentation

Bird warns that if the ad executive does not do something at the very beginning of a presentation that gets people’s attention, he will be in trouble. Bird explains – “At its simplest, if you merely raise your voice somewhat and say: ‘Good morning,’ it works. Especially if accompanied by a beaming smile and followed by a short pause which creates a slight feeling of anticipation.”

He shares with us the example of Carol Champagne from the Kuala Lumpur office who shared with him a trick she had picked up for some marketing experts. She would dress in the client’s colors and open her presentation by twirling around gracefully and asking: ‘How do you like the commitment?’ Bird adds – “Admittedly, she is a damned sight better looking than I am, but the idea is simply to get the clients smiling, and feeling favorable towards you.”

David Ogilvy would gain attention by standing up and taking off his jacket slowly to reveal the bright red lining and then the red braces. Bird admits to having stolen this technique from Ogilvy more than once. However it is done, it’s vitally important to make people pay attention at the opening.

Effective Presentations Create a Sense of Partnership

According to Bird, if possible, the presenter should “move from the position of talking about your company, and your advertising to talking about our company and our advertising.” This creates a feeling of partnership.

According to the Coaching Institute, it is important to create a sense of partnership half way through the presentation so clients feel the sense that “We are in this together”.

Quarreling During a Presentation is Fatal

No matter what the presenter may think, he must never disagree strongly with one of his colleagues in front of the client. “It is fatal,” says Bird. On the other hand, on small matters where the presenter is not totally in agreement, it is sometimes helpful to have a serious discussion with a colleague in the client’s presence. But on fundamentals, agreement is vital.

Maintain Eye Contact While Presenting

Bird advises the presenter to look his clients in the eye as he speaks. “You can rake the room like a battleship’s guns. This is usually very effective.” The presenter can pause and look at particular people, especially at the most important prospects, but others must not be ignored.

How to Get the Attention of Clients

According to Drayton Bird, known for his memorable presentations, the presenter must do something to grab the attention of his client right from the start. He should try to create a sense of partnership, avoid quarreling with his colleagues in front of the client, and remember to maintain eye contact.