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1st presentation. I'd rather DIE!!!!

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I've transitioned from a network administrator to a sales engineer. For the first few weeks, I worked more as my bosses admin than a sales engineer. I attended a few product demonstrations and presentations by the other sales engineers, but not many. They were somewhat apprehensive about having me come to the meetings being that I'm new. Now that our sales manager has left the company and one of our sales engineers has replaced his role, I've been thrown in full speed to to this new role, and have been told to give a presentation on several products on Monday.


I seriously am considering looking for a new job. I would like to be proficient in this, but I am unsure that they are going to give me time to practice and come up to speed on things. I don't think I can give a presentation on Tuesday. The GM of our company gave me small details about the company. Some of the products that the company wants I have no clue what they are. I'm just reading about them this weekend!! I have never given a presentation to large group. I get dizzy, my hands sweat and I feel like I am going to die. I am trying to find a toastmasters group, but many of them have waiting list. Every time I try and even figure out how to start my presentation, I get depressed. I just sit here and stare at the dam paper. What am I going to do??

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As a fellow who isn't too fond of presentations, I can relate. However, a key thing to remember is to stay relaxed. Easier said than done, but realize that no one is rooting for you to fail. They are all responsible adults like yourself who will most likely listen respectfully.


If there is any way to talk to a fellow sales worker, co-worker, or anyone else knowledgable in this area, do it as soon as you can. Take thorough notes and practice speaking the presentation out loud so that by the time presentation day rolls around you're already used to everything.


Also, most likely at some point in time in a business atmosphere you will have to give a presentation, so I'm not sure what quitting would do...especially if you've just been promoted. I know that presenations can suck, and I was terrified of them by the beginning of this year. I've given so many now that I have gotten used to it. A lot of it is just unfamiliarity which causes anxiety.


Stay calm, do everything you can do be familiar with the product, say what needs to be said, and before you know it it is over. The worst part is the anticipation.

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WELCOME TO THE DARKSIDE!!! Otherwise known as sales. I used to be in consulting, and switched over to this wonderful position about 7 years ago. First off, do not be nervous about it. Presenting in front of your peers is one of the hardest presentations you will ever have to do. I assume that you know the product that you will be presenting on???


Remember, your are there to solve a business problem, not there to train them on how to use the product. It took me about 1 year to get over that as I transitioned into this position. Practice what you are going to say. Understand the business problems, and explain how your software will solve it.


The most important advice I can give you??? If they ask a question, make them repeat it and make sure you fully think about how you are going to respond before you do. The next most important, if not more important advice, USE THE WHITE BOARD AND/OR A FLIP chart.


Start your presentation off with:


1) Here is what I am going to tell you--you are there to present a story as to WHY and WHAT you are is presenting is going to help THEM.


2) Present what you told them what you were going to present in 1).


3) Tell them what you told them--you just presented WHY and WHAT will help them. Reiterate it.


It's easy for me to write this down, because I have been doing it for a long time. Just go up their with confidence and give it a go. I don't think they would have put you in the position if they did not think you could do it.


Be prepared, but don't over prepare to the point that if you feel you get off course just slightly, your presentation is toast.


Good luck my friend.



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I called in to work today. I have diariahh, my throat hurts, and I just feel freakin awful. The presentation is tomorrow. No, I don't know the product that well or the customer. My GM just gave this to me at the last minute on Friday. This is a brand new position and I've never given a presentation in my life.

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  • 11 months later...

It's 1 year later and things have improved significantly, but there is still much more to learn about technical sales. I don't feel as nervous when I have to speak. I haven't had to give many presentations, but once I get up there, I just imagine myself being confident, putting my foot down and doing it. I still don't think the staff likes me very much, but maybe it will get better as well. Be Bold little Diva.

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