The Seven Steps of a Persuasive Presentation

7 Simple Steps for Creating a Persuasive Presentation for Any Situation

Dan Pink has an excellent book preparing presentations: To Sell is Human.

When I worked at Procter & Gamble, I took a sales training course that included a presentation model that works for any situation.  Procter & Gamble titled the model the 5-Steps to persuasive selling.  Xerox had actually developed the original course as the 7-steps to professional selling (PSS).

Let us say that tomorrow you have a meeting.  This meeting could be a job interview.  The meeting might be with your board of directors to discuss a new direction for your company.

Here how the process works.


The night before your meeting, you review the material you will present.  You might have a few notes on your laptop or you might have a slide presentation.  The important thing is that you have prepared what you will need for this meeting.


When your turn to present material begins, you greet the person or people in the room.  Perhaps thank them for meeting with you.  During this part of the presentation, you introduce your subject.  Your audience has a certain need or problem, for which you have a solution.  The subject of your presentation is a summary of the needs they have.  You might provide them with some additional information on your subject.  While you want to gain acceptance of the ideas you are presenting, the most important thing is to demonstrate that you have their interest foremost.  You are there to help them.


In a brief, easy-to-understand statement, you give a recommendation for a solution to their need.  Allow your audience to participate.  Ask questions.  They may have objections to your idea.  Let them get comfortable by raising objections.  Treat the objections as questions and provide answers.


You might provide a schedule of events, prices, and who will do what.  Help your audience see that your plan is thorough.  Give them the details they need to know.  Help them be comfortable that they can trust that your plan will accomplish the goals you have established.


“Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”  This part should have no more than three statements as to how your plan gives your audience the benefits of solving their problems.  Keep it brief.


This is the close.  This is where you request approval of your plan.  I recommend that you layout easy steps that may provide options, and do a trial close on an assumptive choice.  For example, you might say, “Should we start to work this afternoon or first thing tomorrow?”


This part may require a little bit of discipline.  When you have left your meeting, you should do a personal review of the meeting.  Review any notes you have taken.  Write follow up correspondence.  Schedule the next steps you need to take.  Notify others who might be involved of what you accomplished in the meeting and what they can expect going forward.