!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Pre-Presentation Homework

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pre-Presentation Homework

Back in January, Geoffrey James, a freelance business writer, put up a post at BNET.com that I've revisited several times and decided deserves a plug for its substance and concision.

The topic is the homework you need to do before making a presentation to a business prospect. Drawing on a conversation with communications guru Dean Brenner, James cites six perspectives that you must be familiar with in order to put together a relevant, persuasive presentation for your particular audience:
  1. The prospect's history as a business and in dealings with you and your organization.

  2. The frames of reference the prospect brings to a meeting with you. For instance, "Do they have a certain way of viewing your offering?"

  3. The prospect's needs and desires.

  4. Likely objections, including how intense and real the objections are.

  5. How much decision-making sway the members of your audience have.

  6. The decision-making style of your audience. Quantitative? Intuitive? Etc.
Of course, even the best-laid plans can go awry, as illustrated by several of the anecdotes recounted here.