10 Reasons to Retire the Traditional “Company Presentation”.


One of the most common forms of Business presentations is that of “The Company Presentation”. The purpose is normally to inform the audience about the history and development of the organization from its foundation to the actual date and to show that it is “stable, reliable, with a long history of X, Y and Z”.

In many organizations, it is often developed, and used, to keep traditional C-Suite executives happy: “We have always done it this way so there is no need to change!”, to ensure continued employment for a “special” employee or on the basis of advice from an expensive communication “consultant”who may be unaware of how people actually research possible suppliers or purchases of products or services.
All too frequently:
1. It is far too long.
2. The content is generic and for general “consumption”.
3. It contains far too many unnecessary details.
4. It is based on data: text slides, incomprensible graphics and irrelevant content and all too often is a mere reading lesson with no added value from the spoken input.
5. It is designed to show “stability”: “we have been here for ages and plan to stay!” which implies that we are trustworthy. However, if you have to ask for trust, it has certain psychological implications.
6. It is used as a tool to try to sell the organization & its products / services to the audience.
7. Its orientation is from the point-of-view of the organization and NOT the (potential) clients.
8. It rarely takes the needs, wants and lacks of the audience into consideration.
9. It wastes the audience’s time.
10. It is, in other words, redundant.

There are more reasons why this type of activity should be buried in the trash-can of history. Among the most obvious are:

Due to the accessibility of the internet, many people these days initially use it to find out about products and services using search engines such as Goggle as the first step in either a possible purchase or sale. Once they have identified potential organizations / products of interest they often:

1. Visit the appropriate web page and identify the key information they need. – If you haven’t got a web page, you do not exist!
2. Check the social networks for more information: complaints, recommendations, professional evaluations, etc.
3. Contact friends, family members and other trusted sources for additional information and/or advice.
4. Visit a retail store if they are looking for a particular product and then possibly purchase it on-line.
5. Download the relevant information from each site visited in order to make detailed comparisons.

In the business world, many people also consult LinkedIn and other sites to find out additional information about the organization or executives mentioned on the web site of the organization.

Here I would like to ask the reader two questions:
1. What experiences have you had with Company Presentations as an audience member?
2. How do you obtain information about products or services?

More information can be found here: Oh no! Not ANOTHER boring company presentation!

If an organization really wants to help potential clients make the “correct” decision – whatever that may be – any presentation should be based on covering the Needs, Wants and Lacks which focus on providing the audience with specific solutions to their problems WITHOUT wasting their time and boring them to death.

Obviously, The company presentation could be useful in the context of a start-up pitch however I propose that there are better ways to present this type of material. However, that will be in another post!

So I would suggest that we really reconsider the usefulness of the traditional Company Presentation in light of how people now obtain information via the internet.

All constructive feedback would be gratefully received.

© Ian Brownlee, Brownlee & Associates, S.L., Madrid, Spain, 5th June, 2016.

About ianbrownlee

Ian Brownlee, the founder of Brownlee & Associates has been actively involved in the field of interpersonal & transcultural communication since 1977. He has worked in universities and companies in the following countries: Laos, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, England, The United States of America & Spain, as a teacher, university lecturer, trainer, researcher & consultant. In addition, his experience in living in these countries, and studying the language & communication and interaction styles of each has aided him in reaching a real understanding of intercultural and transcultural differences and how to resolve them. Ian Brownlee has various masters degrees from British Universities: One in Linguistics & Teaching English Overseas from Manchester University, one in Training & Development with a specialization in the area of Communication and Adult learning awarded by the University of Sheffield. He has also gained professional qualifications in Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy from various professional organizations. During his university career he has also studied elements of Sociology, Organizational psychology, Educational psychology, Psycholinguistics and Kinesics. He is a licensed Practitioner, Master Practitioner, and Master Trainer in NLP. as well as being a trainer in Ericksonian Hypnosis. He is a member of a wide range of professional organizations involved in Training, Applied Psychology, Hypnotherapy & Ericksonian Hypnosis, Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Communication & Cross-cultural Communication. He is also recognized by the Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, as a Negotiation Skills Trainer & Mediator and has been a collaborator on various projects with the program, and as such is in great demand as a negotiation consultant for some of the largest multinationals operating worldwide. His wide experience gained in multinational organizations in positions such as Director of Training, Communications Consultant and Negotiator / Mediator has helped many people to learn and apply new methods of negotiating skills and advanced communication techniques both in their private and professional lives. He has published various articles & books related to the field of interpersonal communication and he is the author of all the courses taught by Brownlee & Associates. He has lived and worked in Spain since 1985, initially as a trainer / Special Assistant in a multinational pharmaceutical company and then as the Training Manager for a multinational company involved in Clinical Analysis & Nuclear Medicine. Brownlee & Associates was formed in 1991 and currently has a small, highly-trained staff. While based in Madrid, courses are given world-wide either in English or Spanish. Brownlee & Associates currently work with leading international companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals , Information systems, luxury products, food & beverages, etc.
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