6 Strategies to Effectively Sell on Stage

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As a business person, your ultimate goal at the end of the day is to sell. You want to sell your product, your service, your message. Your potential customers and target audience have to know what you’re selling and why they need it. The fact that you’re reading this article probably means that one of the ways you try to sell whatever it is you’re selling is through public speaking.

Taking stage to speak directly to your customers is an excellent way to market and sell whatever you offer. Many successful entrepreneurs and speakers use stage selling to expand their reach and increase sales of all sorts of things – books, courses, coaching programs, you name it. This post is meant to provide actionable tips, strategies, and advice on how to effectively sell from the stage. Let’s get into it.

1. Understanding the Audience and Setting Expectations

Know Your Audience

In order to sell anything, you need to understand who your target audience is and how your product or service fits into their needs. We cannot understate the importance of knowing your audience’s needs and pain points. This might require some research prior to speaking in order to tailor your presentation. Look at how your competitors market to their audience and draw from that. Try and see how people have responded to different messages and products and use that information to answer questions for your audience.

Set Realistic Expectations

We also must stress how important it is for a speaker and seller to set realistic expectations for your audience. This is particularly important for people selling courses and trainings. Make sure that your audience knows that you are giving them your very best and providing them with all the wisdom you can, whether in an hour-long keynote or a four-day workshop, but that careers don’t change and thrive in that time. By the end of their time with you, your audience members should know what their next step should be – is it worth it to them to pay for your product/service yet or should they take some more time to get to that point of readiness?

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2. Structuring Your Presentation for Maximum Impact

Content Segmentation

When putting together an impactful presentation, it is important to divide your content into focused, manageable sections. Keep your potential buyers engaged with your ideas by giving each section a theme and focusing on that specific theme before transitioning to the next one. Themes could include things like marketing, creative financing, etc.

Engagement Techniques

Using a variety of presentation tools from slides to props to whiteboards is a great way to connect with and engage your audience. Try incorporating small, brief discussion groups to get your audience talking and give them a sense of inclusion in your process.

3. Building Value for Potential Buyers Through Content

Deliver Heavy, Content-Rich Sessions

Your speech’s content should not only draw in the interest of your audience but also create a clear indication of the value that you’re offering them. There’s no risk of over-delivering your value to meet and exceed your audience’s expectations for your services. Ensure that your content is actionable, note-worthy, and designed to bring success.

Creating Open Loops

When you’re speaking at a live event, try to create “open loops” with the room. Let us elaborate: create these open loops by identifying key problems that you hear from your audience, or buyers, and creating the “loops” by then addressing them and teasing solutions throughout your presentation. You create the problem and solve it in real time on stage. Keep your buyers hooked by promising valuable insights and solutions. You’re basically building credibility and trust as you talk, as well as showing your skills in a direct way.

4. Creating Desire: Transitioning Smoothly to Your Sales Pitch

Selling at 90 Degrees

In a conversation with TSL’s Grant Baldwin, entrepreneur and speaker Cole Hatter describes what he calls “selling at 90 degrees.” Hatter’s method is a way of indirect selling. This goes along with the idea of creating open loops, discussed above. By essentially creating problems in his talk, Hatter knows that he has found a way to build trust in his product or services. By uncovering and solving this problems, he establish credibility and expertise. Use your product or service, whatever you’re trying to sell, to solve real world problems during your talk. Any interested audience member will then leave thinking, “He knows what he’s talking about. I should buy his book (or his course, etc.).” Now you’ve sold at 90 degrees.

Framing the Offer

When you’re selling from the stage, you have to make sure to frame your offer accurately. These people have paid money to hear you speak and you’re trying to convince them to spend more of their money on your products. The least you can do is provide honest and transparent communication. This means clearly communicating about the limitations of the seminar or workshop or keynote and the need for further education or tools – that’s what you’re selling. Like we said earlier, careers don’t change in an hour, or even a week. It takes work and that needs to be clearly framed in your sales pitch.

5. Professional Staging: Effective Sales Techniques on Stage

Creating Desire Over Threats

This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyways: emphasize the positive, not the negative. In others, your speech and sales pitch should focus on all the positive outcomes and benefits that come from your products or services rather than using fear-based tactics to scare people into buying. Even if you scare buyers into a sale, the chances of them coming back again are pretty low compared to someone who buys because they are thoroughly convinced of the benefits they’ll get from your goods based on what they’ve heard. Use your humor, tell stories, talk about your life. Storytelling and drawing from reality are the best ways to build trust and convince people of your message.

Engaging the Audience

Another thing important to effectively sell from stage is keeping your audience engaged. Ask questions, use props, show videos, mix it up. Audiences can easily bore if there’s little variety in a presentation, and a bored audience is pretty unlikely to buy what you’re trying to sell. Again, use real-world examples or relevant case studies and analogies to help make what complex concepts you’re using more relatable. The audience wants to feel involved in a presentation, especially if they’re thinking about spending more of their money on you.

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6. Handling Different Price Points and Products

Scaling Your Pitch

Now, all of this is useful but your pitch can really vary depending on what exactly you’re selling. For example, a sales pitch for a book with a price of $10 is going to look and sound different from a pitch for a $20,000 coaching program. Length will vary, as will the style of your pitch. Feel the moment, but also prepare accordingly. If you’re trying to sell a $20,000 program, that’s a big investment, a big cost, for your buyers so you have to keep interest in your services high throughout. When you deliver your talk and try to sell on stage, your potential buyers will only pay attention as long as you keep them interested.

Closing the Sale

Finally, let’s close the sale. At this point, you’ll want to transition away from sounding too much like a sales pitch (even though it’s still a pitch). It is so important that you ensure your audience feels that they have received some value regardless of whether they make a purchase. Some speakers will tell their audiences that there are only X units still available because they are so confident in getting that many members to close the sale. Implying scarcity may push buyers to close sooner if they know they might miss out by waiting.


Selling from the stage is a powerful way to grow your business, whether you’re promoting a book, course, or coaching program. By understanding your audience, delivering valuable content, and employing effective sales techniques, you can transform your presentations into lucrative opportunities. These key strategies highlight the importance of setting realistic expectations, engaging your audience interactively, and creating genuine desire for your product.

Try to apply these insights to your next speaking engagement to enhance your sales potential and build stronger connections with your audience. Mastering the art of stage selling not only boosts your business but also helps your audience achieve their goals, making every speaking opportunity a win-win for everyone involved.


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