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.