Conversational Selling and Presentations: Tips for the International Marketplace

Tips for Giving International PresentationsRelationships and longevity matter in the international marketplace. And, paying attention to cultural differences and behaving appropriately could make the difference between a deal and no deal. So, whether you are standing in front of a podium delivering a presentation or sitting at a conference room table discussing the benefits of your product or service with prospects, consider the following tips for success:

Presentation Skills

Delivering an inspirational or captivating presentation requires a lot of preparation and work, and presenting information clearly and effectively is a key skill to getting your message across.

10 Quick Tips for Effective Presentations

  1. Talk naturally to your audience –avoid reading from a script.
  2. Stand, rather than sit, and move around a little – avoid pacing backwards and forwards.
  3. Vary the tone, pitch and volume of your voice to add emphasis and maintain the audience’s interest. Avoid using a monotone voice or turning your back to the audience.
  4. Make eye contact with your audience.  Do not stare at your feet or the podium and avoid looking directly at any one person for more than a few seconds.
  5. Use visual aids where appropriate.  They should help illustrate and strengthen your points, not be a distraction.
  6. Rehearse your talk and check your timings.  Always aim to finish your talk within your allotted time and remember to allow time for questions if appropriate.
  7. Prepare and structure your presentation carefully.  Introduce the subject – tell the audience what your talk is about, explain the points you wish to convey, and end with a summary of your points.
  8. Stay focused throughout your presentation – avoid irrelevance and unnecessary detail.
  9. Learn to channel any nervous energy.
  10. Answer any questions as honestly and concisely as you can.  If you don’t know the answer then say so and offer to provide further information at a later date.

Adapted from:

Conversational Selling

According to, rather than throwing information, ideas, or products at your prospect, treat the sales pitch process as a collaborative conversation. By asking questions to uncover your prospect’s needs, you will be able to pre-qualify your prospect, show how your product or service can help them, while fostering a relationship with them and making the sales process easier. How does your product/service provide value to them? Fix a problem? Save them time? Cut costs? What does this value represent to the buyer?

Cultural Differences

To be successful in an international market, you also need to do your homework about cultural differences. While you should always arrive on time for your meetings, don’t assume that everything will be done in a similar matter to your home country. What is the preferred method of communication in a particular country? Is an introduction needed before initiating contact with your prospect?  What is the appropriate business attire? Are people punctual – should you be prepared for delays, cancellations and rescheduling of meetings? For additional insights and a helpful checklist visit: Maximizing Meeting Results: An International Business Culture Checklist.