Making “WOW!” Presentations


(By Paul Weyland) This article is going to show you how to make a presentation so awesome that your clients will still be talking about them when they go home.
First, let’s start with the truth. Most broadcast sales presentations just don’t “WOW!”. And nowadays, the pressure is on. Broadcast is not the new, shiny media it once was. Decision-makers are under considerable pressure to spend a vast majority of their advertising budgets on new digital platforms, or to hire agencies to handle the hordes of media salespeople who drop in on them on a daily basis. Many of our salespeople are new to the industry and also pretty new to making presentations.

Nowadays, to “WOW!” a client, you need to do your homework. You’ll have to work harder to come up with ways to help the client sell her products or services in ways she would have never come up with on her own.

Here’s how I get there. First, I always put myself in the listener/viewer’s shoes. What could my potential client provide to our audience that would enhance their lives in these ways? Can my client make some of our listener’s/viewer’s lives SAFER? Or more CONVENIENT? Or, more LUXURIOUS?

I know (and so will you, if you watch and listen to commercials more critically) that the talking points the clients use successfully every single day in real life to get their customers to say “YES,” hardly EVER make it into their commercials. Why? Because the client, as well as us in media, believe that commercials are supposed to look and sound like…well, COMMERCIALS.

So, when you make the mistake of asking the client what he’d like to say in his commercial, his eyes roll up in his head and out come the clichés! “Well, we’re family owned and operated.” Or, “We must sell 50 units this week,” or, “We have 15,000 years of combined experience,” or, “Everybody here is A.S.S. certified,” etc. But rarely, if ever, do the talking points that are already working for the client in real life make it into the commercials we put on the air. THAT’S HUGE!

What I’m interested in is getting results for my client as quickly as possible. So, I need the talking points that the client is currently hiding from their advertised messages. That means doing research. And finding out how consumers might really benefit from buying from this client, for example, instead of buying from Amazon Prime.

And, I get those talking points by simply asking the client to open up about them. “When you say family owned and operated, what does that mean to ME, the consumer?” Or, “What do you do that you can’t get when you buy online?” Or, “Why should I buy from you instead of your national competitor with the lower price?” I’m looking for the bare-bones truth. How will members of our audience directly benefit from working with our client? Can this client actually make our listener’s lives safer, more convenient? More luxurious? How? And when I figure that out, I go back to the client for my presentation.

I’ll begin with lighting up the room with a bold statement like, “I know something you don’t know. And once I tell you what I’ve discovered, I don’t think you’ll ever be able to go back to the old-school way of advertising again. Here’s what I know.” And then I lean forward and I tell them the truth about the lack of talking points in virtually any commercial we watch or listen to.

Then, I begin bringing up talking points that the client SHOULD be using in their advertising (one talking point per commercial and then we rotate commercials). I mean, WHY on earth would we completely ignore the talking points the clients already use successfully every single day, and instead manufacture cliché-infested spots with NONE of those talking points? Essentially making ridiculous commercials that are in actuality gross cartoon versions of who the client actually is?

I remind the client that she knows a LOT of things that our listeners/viewers don’t know, but would like to know, in order to make a better buying decision. I tell the client that while people hate being SOLD, they don’t mind being INFORMED.

We discuss that, by advertising on our station(s) and digital platforms, we have the opportunity to build a strong bond between the client’s business and our audience, using our platforms to help the client work their way into the audience member’s circle of trust as quickly as possible, by simply telling the truth and selling value — the same way they do one-on-one every day in the store, on the lot, over the phone, in person in real life.
I ask the clients if they can think of a more “organic” way of reaching out to potential customers than by simply telling them the truth, and virtually all of them say that they can’t think of a better way. Because there is no better way. The client is the expert. Our audience could really use the client’s expertise. The client, from this point onward, will listen much more carefully to their customers, and will start thinking for themselves. “Man, that’s the fifth time this week I’ve heard this from a customer. I need to remember this talking point for our next round of ‘To Sell the Truth’ commercials with my rep from WXWY.”

Good ideas are worth real money. So, I finish my presentation by asking for per week what I’d normally ask for per month.

Imagine a presentation that fundamentally and indelibly changes the way your client thinks about how she advertises her product or service for the better. By showing clients how to use real talking points to convince listeners/viewers beyond a shadow of a doubt that the client’s plan for the consumer’s success is better than the consumer’s plan. By doing things in this organic way, clients will earn the listener’s respect, and their money. “WOW!”

Paul Weyland helps broadcast stations sell more long-term local direct. To reach Paul, call 512 236 1222 or go to


  1. So when you determine WHAT to say the question is, in the ,middle of 7 or 8 commercial (sometimes more) stop set, HOW to you get their attention, and HOW do you say it.? If you put your valid approach to work AND could pretty much GUARANTEE that the commercial would be TURNED UP istened to … .and prove it right there in your presentation.. would you do it? Is that even possible ? Yes….and after 35 years as an agency owner I can prove it. .
    Thanks for you great insight Lee Alan


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