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Advice needed on presentation.


chauntelle
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I have been lucky enough to be invited to a ladies group to be one of their guest speakers and demonstrators. My friend (who makes jewllery) and me were then approached by a second unit of the same group.

I've never done anything like this before and i am as nervous as hell!!

I was hoping that somebody might be able to give me a few hints and tips.

So what ive got planned so far (please tell me if it doesnt sound quite right).

I am being supplied a table and i will be taking a cloth of my choice,probably white that drops to the floor. I have a wooden shelf which is about 3ft high to sit on top and then two sets of plastic clear shelves which i will probably display my pillars on. Next to this i will have a small table which i will use to do a demonstration.

For the demo i was going to prephare a unscented candle at home so that i could be at the point of a second pour. This way i can demonstrate from scratch and then instead of waiting i can then explain about a repour and do as i explain with the candle i prephared earlier. i can always re melt these so no supplies are lost.

I plan to keep to the point not babble or talk too fast and keepsmiling even if things do go wrong!!

After wards i will invite them to have a look at my candles and answer any questions. Do i explain how i started candle making ? how do i not show them too much that they all want to go out and make their own?

If i pull this off i could be invited back and even recommended to other groups.

I was also thinking that it might be nice to gift wrap a tart for each customer with a bussiness card attached? any thoughts.

not sure how many ladies exactly anywhere up to 40 i think! - thats just scarry enough AARRGH Im freaking out now!! lol :tongue2:

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He He, I've done loads of talks to Scottish Womens rural groups when I was doing my painted glass, & usually they were a lot of fun.

What you've got listed sounds about right, I definately wouldn't recommend starting from scratch, the only time I did a candle making afternoon demo the bloody thing went completely wrong & I felt such a prat.

I used to waffle on to the ladies telling them how I got to start painting & while I waffled I'd paint them a lightbulb, which I'd started at home so it didn't take more than half an hour.

I always had a table of things to sell & I usually made some sales.

The way to make it less tempting for them to try is to stress the "down" side to candle making....the mess, time it takes, the expense, even on a small scale it's not a cheap hobby, but also let them know how much you enjoy it.

The ladies in these type of groups are, more often than not, late middle age /retired with time for a hobby not to set up in business in competition with you.

Are you getting paid to do this demo?

If not I would think twice about giving things away, maybe if a lady buys a candle then give her a freebie. That might tempt others to buy.

Lastly relax, smile & be yourself & it will be over before you know it....then it will be time for the tea & cakes & to meet the ladies.

I loved that bit!

Oh & if it's anything like the rurals I went to I always got to judge the latest competition, that was always fun too.

Hope you have a blast.

Sally.

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Sally's got some good advice going on there. Usually when people ask how to make B&B I stress how much research is needed, and how they'll have to order stuff in from overseas, that sort of thing. Usually when they hear that I used to research 6-10 hours a night and the complications of preserving lotions, they start to tune out so I switch topics and that's usually the end of it. It's a good way to weed out the ones who are really interested in B&B and the ones who just want to make a quick buck anyhow.

If you're not good at coming up with answers on the fly, maybe try anticipating questions so you'll have a rough idea of how to answer without being too long-winded, or getting stuck.

Smiling is good, and small talk is extremely important once you're done presenting and it's tea & cakes time. Most customers are more likely to return if they feel they "know" you personally, so I always make it a point to do some small talk and find out their name. I occasionally get customers who talk my ear off, but I get others who bake me yummy cakes too :laugh2:

I'd suggest going through your presentation with someone (family, close friends, etc) if you haven't thought of doing so already, so you can identify and fix potential snags (too short a presentation, too long, too messy, etc).

I think the tarts with the business card is an excellent idea. Everyone loves freebies! Bring more than you think you'd need anyhow. Some of my customers like taking more than one "for my sister" or "for my friends", that sort of thing. They may be keeping my stuff all to themselves for all I know, but well, you never know, really :laugh2:

Good luck and have fun!

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Oh thanks thats a great help! Yes sally i am getting £15 for the presentation most people charge a fair bit more but as this is my first ones i dont want to over charge and then feel bad if it goes wrong!! Im also selling candles on the night so hopefully that will work well.

One other thing i was going to ask though was how would you go about explaining the benefits of hand poured candles, i will search for a link unless anyone knowsof one??

Think i will definatly do the melts thing maybe do some 'mini hearts' as they are just a free sample and everyone always thinks they are 'sooo cute'! and then sell larger one along side. would you do some special offers or just see how the first one goes and maybe consider that for the nxt 1 in oct?

TIA:smiley2:

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Well as you are getting paid & your freebies are mini sized I think you could do a special offer, just make sure you aren't giving all your stock away at knock down prices as people can be a bit funny about paying the real price later on.

When I was doing lots of craft fairs I'd sometimes get people stop & say they would come back later in the day when I'd put my prices down, like it was a car boot sale. I always told them that was my price & it didn't get reduced unless it went in the bargain basket for some reason.

As for the benefits of YOUR hand poured candles, well each one is unique as they are hand poured,they have been extensively tested for the best all round performance, buying from you is helping to support the local economy.

Can't really think of anything else just now, except to say have fun.

Sally.

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