This week, we’ve a guest blog from the very talented Catherine Sandland who trains people on how to craft and deliver inspirational presentations. Here she shares her thoughts on how to introduce your company…
I have been to two corporate presentations just recently and both fell into the same trap. When the speakers introduced themselves and their company they bored the pants off the audience! We were treated to the dry facts of how many people they employed, what locations, what year they were established followed quickly by a long list of statistics about product and services. YAWN.
I am being cruel: they are no different to many companies and organisations who struggle with the ‘How do we establish credibility and tell the audience who are organisation is’ and ‘ Keep them awake to hear all about our amazing products and services’? And it is the same for small businesses too and especially for micro businesses where the business often is themselves alone.
So let’s look at what we are trying to achieve. First we want reassure our listeners that it is OK, we know what we are doing and they can relax knowing we are not going to waste their time. Second we need to engage them at a level where they NEED to listen to us rather than they HAVE to listen to us (or not) And finally we need to create a moment in time where we (the speaker) and they (the audience) share a common world, where there is rapport and understanding and a willingness to listen with the flow.
One of my clients was in the pharmaceutical industry. A large company with millions of pounds turnover, their corporate presentations always started off with a story. A story of how the two founders who were both medical doctors were having a family BBQ together. One of the children, a 2 year old, went wandering, found some tablets on the bedside cabinet, took them and was poorly. The challenge then was to know what the tablets actually were as they were being taken as part of a medical trial and in a double blind test. Thankfully the little girl was fine. But it got those doctors thinking. There must be a better and quicker way of running trials where the back up machinery provided accurate data not just for situations such as this but also for the trialing of new drugs generally. Thus was the start of their company.
What’s great about this? Immediately you have a human interest factor. With a crisis point. And a resolution. And a link to the core services. And, cleverly, you have an insight into the values and beliefs of the company via their founders. It is a more interesting way of starting a presentation and will capture your audience’s attention. People want to know what happened. They create pictures in their head (go on I bet you did too) and therefore are involved in the presentation actively rather than being a passive recipient of information.