I have engaged Front-line decision makers a couple of times. On some occasions, I failed to impress and on other occasions I surpassed expectation. What are my lessons?
1. You need one WORD not a sentence. That word is the clincher. Hope that you say it.
2. Be business like and go straight to the pain point. Unless initiated by the execs, Small talk can be dangerous in high stake presentations. They have very little time so are typically impatient.
3. It is normal for high stake audience to be unfriendly, don't let it throw you off balance, you won't have time to recover. I once met a cold executive. I stretched my hand to welcome her into the room and she said bluntly, "I don't shake hands". From then on the presentation went downhill.
4. You are dealing with egos, don't over feed it, or you will be cheapened. Don't under feed it or else you will be harassed. Just feed it right and interest will grow.
5. Know your WORK inside out. This may be the most important part. A person disinterested in you today may hound you tomorrow when your solution touches their pain point.
So in the final analysis, it may not be only your presentation that counts, but their situation
I Hope this helps someone.
What other lessons have you learnt from presenting to the 'high' and 'mighty'?
Program Director, IRMP