Five quick, simple and actionable ways to ensure your Call To Action is heard.
Every presentation should trigger your audience to act. If
you’re selling, you want them to buy. If you’re training, you want them to put
your ideas into practice. If you’re sharing an idea, you want them to spread
You might spend ten minutes, an hour, even days with an
audience gripped by your every word, but what happens when you stop talking?
They need to know what they are meant to do next, so you need to tell them with
a clear call to action before you let them go. Here’s my five tips to
ensure your audience make the right move.
Keep It Simple
If you couldn’t print it on a pencil, it’s too long. Your
call to action should be one clear request so everyone in the room knows
exactly what you want from them. If you ask too much of your audience they’ll
walk away overwhelmed, forget what they were meant to do, and subsequently do
nothing. If your call to action is too broad or general, your audience may not
know where to start. So work out what one solid action they can take that would
make your presentation a success. Some examples are:
Purchase my book
Sign up to my newsletter
Register for an event
Donate money to this cause
Tell one person what you learned today
Keep It Easy
Don’t give your audience a chance to forget you. You want
them to buy a product? That product should be waiting outside the door with a
salesperson and a credit card machine. Asking them to sign up to your mailing
list? Have staff with an iPad outside the door – or bonus points if you can
send them a link in their post-event communication!
Perhaps your long term goal is for them to adopt your new
technology across their whole business? That’s a huge action and it doesn’t
happen overnight, so simplify their
action to stage one of that process; set up a meeting, or book in for a live
demo. If your audience have to remember too much or work too hard you will lose
them, so remove as many obstacles between them and their action as possible.
Know Who You’re Speaking To
Rule number one of every element of presenting is to know
and understand your audience. You should understand everything from their age
range, professions and educational level, through to their beliefs, values and
pain points. I could write about audience analysis for hours, but for now I’m
going to assume you know who you’re speaking to.
This knowledge is more important than ever when it comes to
triggering action. Perhaps you’re looking for funding or investment; are the
people in front of you the final decision makers or budget holders? Or are they
people that can influence change or suggest new ideas? You would want a
completely different action from each type of person, so it’s important to
understand who is in front of you.
Make It About Them
Your audience are only going to act if it’s in their best
interests, so focus on the advantages for them, not for you. Taking action
should improve their life, not yours, so tell them how it will.
This can be as simple as reframing your pronouns. If the
action you’re asking of them is “contribute to my research project” then tell
them “your contribution will make an impact by…”. If it’s “set up a one-to-one
meeting with me”, then say “you can learn more and take advantage of this
knowledge by speaking with my directly”.
Offer Them A Reward For Moving Fast
Your audience need an incentive to act quickly while all
your words and visuals are fresh in their mind. So if you want them to sign up
to your next online seminar, give them the link and tell them if they sign up
in 24 hours they’ll receive a bonus live Q&A session. If they buy your book
on the way out, they’ll get a discount and have it signed by you. If you’re
asking them to train for a triathlon, remind them that the sooner they start,
the quicker they’ll be across the finish line!
Remember, a great presentation gives a lot to the audience and
this is your chance to get something back, so make it count by keeping it
simple, easy and targeted. Your audience won’t just do what you’ve asked them,
they’ll feel good about it too!