When Technology Doesn’t Matter – Presentations That Speak to Business

The room is full of business people in “business casual” dress. It’s the IT department turn to present and they are ready. The PowerPoint is revved up. The projector has been focused. They’ve practiced extensively over the past week, refining their message, practicing with their slides: they are thoroughly prepared for this moment. IT is eager to explain how the newest technology will contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Thirty minutes later, the presentation is over, the PowerPoint’s finished and the business people in the room are frustrated and annoyed. The IT staff is wondering what just happened. Their brilliantly detailed and highly accurate PowerPoint presentation was interrupted by questions unrelated to the technology. The help desk department wanted to know how the new technology would improve call-processing time. The accounting department wanted to know how the technology would work with the general ledger system. The sales organization didn’t understand why the change was even needed. After all, the sales force knew the old system and they didn’t see anything wrong with it. What started as hopeful and creative ended with heartache and confusion. What went wrong?

Presentation Basics: Know Your Audience

The IT department in the story above didn’t understand their audience. Do you?

As you lead your organization, you intellectually know that IT does not exist for the sake of IT. IT exists to support the larger organization in making money. But do your presentations show it?

The best IT presenters know the members of the audience, if not individually, then in general terms. They know what it is the different departments care about and how those concerns relate to IT. They know the case of new technology how any changes to the status quo will improve the condition of those other departments and address their concerns. The smart IT department builds the presentation around the needs of the company to make more money or cut costs – not on whether or not the IT staff gets to use the latest and greatest technology. The best IT presentations reflect that fact.

Getting to Know Your Audience

The best way to get to know what the audience for your presentation cares about is to ask them. Interview representatives from the different departments that will attend your presentation. Ask them what their focus is, what their concerns are, and their knowledge on the subject of your presentation. Understand what their issues are, both from a technology and a business perspective. What do they care about and how does it relate to technology. If you can’t answer the questions of how what you have planned from a technology perspective will help them out, then don’t present until you figure it out. Every audience member wants to know what’s in it for them. Find out what’s in it for your audience and give provide for their needs during the presentation.

Eliminate the Boring

No one likes to be bored. But the definition of boring is in the eye of the beholder. New technology is exciting for IT professionals, but boring for everyone else. What’s exciting to people is what interests and benefits them. While you may have brilliant material and in-depth understanding of the new technology, those outside of IT really don’t care. Don’t bore them with the technical details. Save that material for a presentation to your staff. For the business side, excite them with what the new technology can do for them. Help them see how the new technology will make them look good with increased revenues or decreased costs. Your audience will never tire of hearing of they ways you can help them look good.

Be Compelling

Often in business presentations, we fail to take advantage of some of the strongest tools to enhance our message. These tools include stories, analogies, and emotional appeals. Paint a picture of improved call processing through a story. Explain the newest technologies by relating it to everyday examples that the business departments can relate to then draw a comparison that helps them understand the benefits to them. Appeal to the larger human emotions that connect people to one another: a sense of belonging, pride, humor, the greater good. Link what your business does for your customers to a bigger human condition that makes a difference. The wireless phone company that can call grandparents from the delivery room to say, “It’s a girl!” The car company whose seat belt saved a mother’s life. The insurance payout that saved a family’s house after a young father’s death. Stories of success and appeals to the emotions tie our audience to us and to our message. Look for ways to add humanity to the message you deliver.

Presentations don’t have to be painful. With attention to the audience’s needs, eliminating unnecessary technological explanations and adding the human element to presentations we can prevent annoyance on the part of the business and bewilderment on part of IT. After all sometimes, technology doesn’t matter.

5 Reasons Why Network Marketing Group Presentations Do Not Work Anymore

I will never forget the first time I had to do the closing portion of our hotel, group presentation. There were a few hundred people there roughly comprised of one-third representatives and two-thirds prospects. The room was packed and I was nervous realizing the tremendous pressure I was under to close the deal with the ecruits under the watchful eyes of their potential sponsors.

My nights and weekends were filled with such opportunity presentation meetings. And, during the time when I did not have a hotel presentation, I would do group meetings in living rooms on behalf of team members in my group.

I felt like the Energizer bunny: just kept going and going and going. At the time this was the most effective way to sponsor large numbers of people for reps in my group.

Just before we stopped doing all group presentations, I met with a few of my leaders and we came up with 5 main reasons why we could no longer continue group opportunity meetings.

#1.) Too impersonal. We found that people preferred a one-on-one presentation rather than to participate in a group opportunity meeting. In a one-on-one setting, if they had a question on the compensation plan, they would ask the question right there and then. In a group setting most people are too embarrassed to ask a question even though it is relevant to them and their decision as to whether they will join your business or not. Plus future sponsors might have 3 or 4 prospects there and are unable to give their full attention to any one individual.

#2.) No shows. Most people will promise you they will be there, mostly to get you off their back, and then not bothering to show up. I would always encourage reps to tell their prospects that they would be stopping by their house and pick them up. Sometimes this worked, most times no…people saw right through this and if they had no intention of going to the presentation they would not want to be roped into it just because you wanted to give them a ride.

#3.) Lack of interest to attend. Family and friends care about you, not your latest business venture. If they wanted to participate in a business opportunity, they would seek one out and not want to be hit on by their friend or relative. Besides they may have been mildly enthused when you approached them with your first “greatest thing since slice bread” opportunity, but now they do not want to hear it…much less waste a night of their life stuck at a presentation. Let me see, opportunity presentation for my cousin Steve or a root canal without Novocain? Sorry Steve, but they would probably take the root canal.

#4.) More interested in doing other things: like watch television, nod off in the recliner after a tough day at work, re-arrange the furniture, etc. Everyone places a value on everything we do. If I do not view your business presentation as the cure for my financial ills, I will not budge out of my house. This is not meant to offend you in any way, it is purely a subjective decision made by me not knowing what your opportunity has to offer nor am I interested in pursuing it.

#5.) The internet. More and more of the network marketing companies were putting their business opportunity presentations online. This made it easier for people to get out of going to a meeting as they would request that you email them information or send them a link so they could look over the information online.

For the shrewd network marketer of today, the death of live group presentations presents tremendous opportunity for them to expand with online marketing tools. In addition they now have an unlimited supply of prospects with 1.5 billion people now online worldwide.

How to Build Leverage For Negotiating Substantial and Recurring Salary Increases

Who doesn’t want their salary increased substantially year after year during their career? A yearly salary increase of 10 per cent gives a doubled pay check in about eight years. Make the yearly increase 20 per cent and the pay check is doubled in about four years. But – is it even realistic to want such increases, year after year? Well, of course it depends to some extent on the job. But, basically the answer is: yes, it is realistic, given that the right career strategy is chosen.

For most people – I mean people not working in the family business etc. – the no. # 1 strategy to recurring substantial salary increases is spelled: long term leverage building. Anyone skilled in the art of negotiating a salary knows that when negotiating a salary, it all comes down to bargaining power, i.e. leverage. In a salary negotiation, bargaining power is a measure of which of the parties – the employee or the employee – is more dependent on coming to an agreement on the salary. Or, in other words, the party being most dependent on the other is the party with less leverage.

So, a person will be able to get recurring and substantial salary increases by constantly working on his leverage. Here are some actions to take:

Always look for outside options.

In a salary negotiation, the employees best weapon may be the threat to quit unless he get the salary asked for. However, quitting without having a new job is probably not a good option. And finding a new job takes time for most people. Therefore, you cannot go looking for one the day before your salary negotiation, but must have prepared in advance.

Strive for excellence in the relevant area.

Being the best, being the expert, having reputation of the highest quality – these are qualities one doesn’t achieve over night but only after long, hard and goal conscience efforts. In the end, quality and excellent performance will win – therefore you should start today the work to get there.

Make sure you are not the impatient one.

All things equal, the party most impatient to reach an agreement will most likely be the losing party in the negotiation. You should try to avoid to be taken by surprise when a negotiation becomes necessary. If you negotiate contracts for a company, make sure you know the term of every important contract, so that you can start looking for outside options, gather information etc well before you have to enter a new contract.