CEO’s and VP’s are no different from you and me, sure they need data and analysis to make decisions but they’re also human. They need to know specifically what they’re going to get for their investment of time and money. They need your data and analysis translated into targeted benefit statements.
Blah, blah, blah; that’s what most executives hear when they have to suffer endless hours of boring business presentations. And though the consultant might have a fantastic job of her analysis and number crunching, if the executives don’t get what’s in it for them, they won’t buy the proposition.
Yesterday I sat through a presentation on the importance of using sustainable materials in the housing sector. It was a really important message; and a huge market for the presenters. They talked about the different types of environmentally friendly bricks, wood, and roofing materials; they mentioned the library of knowledge they had created on building sustainable houses; and they went on (at length) about the amount of information on their website. They had quite an impact on the audience; the guy in the row in front of me fell asleep.
Here’s what they DIDN’T do, and SHOULD have done: told their audience what they would gain by using sustainable materials. For example they could have said:
Benefit #1: “By using these bricks you can get government grants and use less of your own money to build houses.”
Benefit #2″: “By using this wood, your houses will hold more heat, which you can advertise to attract more buyers.
Benefit #3: “By using these roofing materials the housing regulator will let 10,000 customers per month know that you are environmentally friendly, you can’t buy that sort of advertising.”
And if they’d engaged and motivated their audience they might have even sold their consulting services.
So here’s what you should do:
When you present data, ask yourself the question, “what does my audience gain from implementing my advice?” Then when planning your presentation make sure that every piece of information can be translated into a benefit statement. By making your information benefit rich your audience will be more motivated to take action, and will more readily accept you and your advice (oh by the way, that was a benefit statement, did you notice?)
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