Many funeral professionals have already experienced the benefits of hosting community presentations. The success of these presentations depends on the presenter being able to demonstrate expertise, skillfully answer questions and adjust the content to meet the needs of the audience. Here’s how you can accomplish those items during your own presentations and improve the way you share the advantages of planning ahead with your community.
As you prepare for the presentation, review what you want the audience to gain from their time with you. The goals of a community presentation often include:
- Building trust and confidence in you and your firm.
- Introducing the benefits of planning ahead.
- Explaining the components of funeral services.
- Outlining considerations for planning and funding in advance.
- Providing information about next steps for prearranging.
- Generating preneed leads.
If you’re planning a presentation about a more specific topic, you can review and adjust your goals accordingly. As you present, don’t forget to periodically recap what you’ve covered and ask for audience feedback to ensure you’re meeting those goals.
Share Your Story.
Great presenters establish credibility with their audience right away and continue to earn trust. Start the presentation by explaining your background in the profession, your connection to the community and why you value the important work you do.
Take advantage of opportunities to provide context by sharing your own experiences throughout the presentation. Your expertise will keep the audience engaged and help you build relationships. Plus, your own experiences and examples may prompt additional discussion.
Ask for Input.
Effective presentations are tailored to meet the needs of the audience. By encouraging feedback from the audience, you can adjust the information you provide to meet their needs and hold their attention.
As you start the conversation about planning ahead, you could ask the audience members if they know someone who has prearranged. For those who respond, “yes,” ask what those who already prearranged shared with them about their experience and reasons for prearranging. Their responses can help guide further discussion about why families choose to plan ahead.
Explain the Basics.
Because you’re so knowledgeable about funeral service, it can be easy to forget that others may not be familiar with the planning process. Walking through the key components of a funeral service during your presentation can proactively dispel common misconceptions and address questions the audience may not feel comfortable asking.
Homesteaders’ free Community Engagement Program provides the content and resources you need to share the components of a meaningful funeral service and the advantages of planning ahead. The presentation toolkits include:
- A customizable PowerPoint presentation
- A presenter’s checklist to ensure success before and after the presentation
- A presentation guide with script suggestions
- A promotional postcard to personalize with your funeral home’s information
- A sample press release to announce your event to the community
- Templates for social media posts to promote your event
- Evaluation/surveys to collect feedback and leads
- A follow-up tip sheet
What are your tips for success when presenting funeral planning information to a group? Share your thoughts in the comments below.