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Presenting to Business People

Presenting to Business People

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Published by sdonthy
Presenting to Business People
Presenting to Business People

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Published by: sdonthy on Mar 09, 2013
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12/03/2013

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Copyright 2011, Leading Geeks Company. | www.leadinggeeks.com | 310
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694
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A lot of people consider public speaking to be one of life’s most stressful events. And for geeks,presenng to business people is especially terrifying. Business people — the phrase we geeks useto refer to everyone who isn’t technical — oen seem confusing and capricious to us. They oenrespond badly to the way we like to present things. So, it’s not surprising that many geeks shy awayfrom giving presentaons to such unpredictable people.
 
But you can avoid it for only so long…if you want to get anything done. In fact, if you want to growin your career, you’re going to have to present to business people, and do it well. In the future,successful geeks will be the ones who can bridge the divide between technical and business groups.And presenng to business people is a crical part of working across these disparate cultures.
 
Luckily, it’s not really that hard if you prepare properly. You don’t need to be a charismac speakerto be compelling and eecve. You just need to berelevant and focused, and that happens as a result of yourpreparaon, not your plaorm delivery.If you invest in preparaon, not only will you accomplishyour goals, you’ll nd that giving presentaons isn’tdicult at all. You won’t experience the sort of fear andtrepidaon that most people do. You’ll feel empoweredto get up in front of a room and to completely be yourself.And all it takes is for you to follow this simple ve
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stepprocess:
 
1. Clarify your goal
 
2. Get into their heads
 
3. Cra a transformaon (write it)
 
4. Present, connect, and resonate
 
5. Conclude with a call to acon
 
Sponsored by:
 
5 steps
to a great presentaon
 
6 quesons
to help you getinto their heads
 
7 stages
of an emoonal arc
 
5 ps
for making informaoneasy to understand andremember
 
3 tools
for elicing emoons
 
5 guidelines
for using stories
 
4 ps
for connecng with youraudience
 
 
Copyright 2011, Leading Geeks Company. | www.leadinggeeks.com | 310
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694
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As geeks, we organize our thinking around problems and soluons,and that’s a powerful framework for presentaons. Start out bythinking carefully about what problem this presentaon is intendedto solve. What do you want to be dierent aer you give it frombefore? In other words, what will be transformed by this event?
 
Imagine that you’ve been asked to lead a team that will recommend a new CRMpackage to your company. You’ve assembled the team and the project sponsors haveasked you to present your approach before invesng a lot of me in execuon. Whatdo you want to be dierent aer the meeng? Do you want them to give you theirblessing to proceed? Do you want them to feel comfortable that you’ve got thingsunder control? Do you want them to abandon the project completely?
 
If you can’t clearly state what you want toaccomplish, postpone the event unl youcan, or cancel it altogether. If someoneasked you to present and it’s not obviouswhat it will accomplish, go to them and getthe answer. If they can’t answer it, cancelthe presentaon. I’m serious. This is reallyfundamental. It’s like developing codebefore you have any idea about what the requirements are.
 
That said, the most common purposes for presentaons to business people are to:
 
Inuence decisions
 – You want a decision
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maker to make a choice that you think isbest, or at least for her to understand the tradeos.
 
Manage expectaons and share status
 – You want someone to be aware of what’sgoing on with something. Usually it’s a project you’re working on.
 
Leverage opportunies
 – You want someone to focus aenon on something youconsider important. Usually this involves sharing informaon about what’s goingon in the industry or with a project.
 
Leverage technology
 – You want a user to be able to use some sort of technologyeecvely.
 
How you structure your material will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish andwho the audience is. And when you start with the problem you’re trying to solve withthe presentaon, it will give you a lot of valuable insight about what to say and how toorganize it.
 
 
Copyright 2011, Leading Geeks Company. | www.leadinggeeks.com | 310
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694
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0450
It’s me to turn your aenon to the audience. Since you’rethinking about the presentaon as a transformaonal event, assomehow changing the current state of the situaon into one inwhich your goals are met, you have to think about what theyneed in order to change. Understanding what they needrequires answering three quesons:
 
What’s their starng point?
 
What do they really need to know?
 
What they need to feel?
 
Begin by idenfying obstacles. What about the current state of the audience preventsyour goal from already being met? Here are some quesons to ask yourself aboutyour audience:
 
It is useful to jot these notes down or sketch them out in some way. Then think aboutthe state you want them to be in to fulll your goals. Imagine what’s dierent aboutthem, about their knowledge, priories, and atudes. Idenfy the specic gaps thatneed to be addressed.
 
You will nd some obstacles are opportunies in disguise. For example, if you arepresenng to an egomaniacal blowhard, you can work in acknowledgement of histeam’s achievements as an easy way to warm him up.
 
While it’s important to consider the audience from all angles, as you go through yournotes, some things will clearly be more important to address than others. Focus onthose.
 
1. Are they missing informaon that you have?
 
2. Do they have priories that are dierent from yours?
 
3. Are they aached to a parcular course of acon? Why?
 
4. Are they in some sort of polical bind?
 
5. Are they resistant to making hard compromises?
 
6. Do they have some feelings about you personally, technology in general, oryour department that’s standing in the way?
 

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