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4 Ways to Structure a Great Promise in an Irresistible Presentation

Creating an offer that your audience can't resist is easy if you use one of these four techniques.

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The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy and Dustin Mathews' book No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

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The Irresistible Offer -- the one those in your would crawl across broken glass on naked knees to get -- is the heart and soul of a great presentation. Creating and delivering anything less is a squandering of some of the opportunity you obtained by being able to make a presentation.

Related: How to Make the Offer the Most Important Part of Your Presentation

One way to think about your Irresistible Offer is as the means of fulfilling a magnificent, desired promise. Great presentations make great promises.

4 Ways to structure a great promise

There are different kinds of promises and structures for promises. Most people put them into presentations, but they put in weak and poorly designed ones. Here are the four ways to structure a great promise.

#1: Big stated promises versus small, implied promises

Examples of ordinary, small promises are:

  • Learn how to boost your immune system
  • 50 tips for a more bountiful garden
  • The five best hiding places in your home for your valu­ables
  • Amazing home remedies that heal without drugs or doctors
  • There's a new frontier in -- making some who are "in the know" rich.

All five of these have two flaws in common. First, they share implication. The direct, personal benefit to you is not boldly stated, but left for you to get for yourself from the statement. Second, they're small and rather timid. They're all good but not great.

Related: Why Every Personal Brand Needs a Target Audience

Here they are, re-crafted as big, stated promises:

  • Discover the Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick!
  • Get 50 Tips from Master Gardeners and Grow Twice the Garden for Half the Cost -- and Make Your Neighbors Green with Envy!
  • Foil Even Professional Burglars and Thieves So They Can Never Find Your Valuables Hidden in Your Own Home.
  • Live at Least 15 Years Longer Than Your "Life Expectancy" -- and Stay Out of the Hospital, and Rarely Need a Doctor, Even Stay Off of Prescription Drugs!
  • You Can Get Very Rich, Very Fast -- If You'll Join Those "in the Know" About "The New Frontier" in America.

You can see that the stated, big-promise rewrites lend themselves much better to Irresistible Offers.

#2: Promises framed as questions

In some situations, for various reasons, you may not want to make a direct, stated, big promise. In these cases, you can frame the promise as a question or even a series of questions, still setting up an Irresistible Offer. Here are several actual examples from different presentations:

  • YOU -- a millionaire? Did you know there's a new millionaire explosion going on in America right now? More ordinary men and women rose to the ranks of millionaires this year than any prior year. How can this be? Do they share a secret? If you knew their secret, could you and would you be willing to follow simple 1–2–3, A–B–C directions, and invest as little as one hour a day?
  • Have you ever noticed there seem to be some people who can eat whatever they want, as much as they want -- but never gain weight? What if everything you've been told about is wrong? If you could actually reset your metabolism to burn more body fat without starving or exercising, would you be interested?
  • If you could be guaranteed financial gains but fully protected against losses, if you could share in the upside of a rising but never more than 20 percent of your principal, would you want to know about this special ? What if you could be "in the market" but never again have a worried, sleepless night? Is it possible to double your retirement income without any risk?

The beauty of these questions in presentations is that people hear the promises and don't really hear the question marks punctuating them. The promise is what "sticks," so you can loop back to it with your Irresistible Offer.

#3: Primary promises and secondary promises

You more than double the impact of a primary promise by following it with several reinforcing, secondary promises. As an example, for my Magnetic Marketing System® for salespeople, my primary promise is, put an end to "cold" prospecting once and for all. That produces a number of secondary benefits that can also be promised:

  • Now you can invest 100 percent of your time in actually sell­ing -- not hunting for someone to sell to.
  • You can double or triple your income easily and auto­matically, when you're able to stop wasting time on prospecting.
  • You'll be the envy of everybody else in the office -- when they watch good, quality prospects literally line up to talk to you, without you ever making a cold call or suffering through another networking event to get them.
  • With the stress of never quite knowing where your next prospect is coming from -- or when -- erased, you can relax and enjoy selling again.
  • You'll be home on time for dinner! Your spouse, kids and friends will notice the difference in you.

A good rule of thumb is three to five secondary promises for each primary promise. If you prefer, these three can all be reframed as questions. Either way, again, your Irresistible Offer loops back to them.

#4: Complex, stacked promises

Dale Carnegie's and 's famous bestselling books' titles delivered two-part, stacked promises:

(1) Win Friends and (2) Influence People

(1) Grow Rich with (2) Peace of Mind

Arguably, either one would be a good enough promise, but stacked, the sum has more impact than 1 + 1 = 2.

A very successful presentation for a luxury time-share vacation club stacked its promises this way:

(1) You stay in magnificent, multimillion-dollar man­sions, lakefront and beachfront homes, and ski and golf resort homes -- never hotels or condos, with (2) complete privacy, (3) made ready for your stay to your liking, by your instructions, (4) all-inclusive, with no hidden or surprise charges and (5) your satisfaction completely guaranteed.

Related: The 12 Parts of a Successful Signature Presentation

Such complex promises might not be practical in advertising given impatient and fleeting attention, but in a presentation delivered to a captive audience in a physical location, or to a deliberately tuned-in audience at a webcast or online video, a multi-item, stacked promise can work well. It can be repeated. It can be said and shown on slide or screen graphically. It can be dissected and re-assembled. When looped back to the Irresistible Offer, there's a higher level of support for the offer than by any single, simple promise.

Once you decide on and craft your presentation's promise or promises, and decide on the Irresistible Offer that fulfills or facilitates fulfillment of the promises, you have the foundation of and the bookends for your presentation. In a sense, everything between the promise and the fulfillment by Irresistible Offer is a bridge the audience is guided across. You are literally leading them to The Promised Land!

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