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How to be Understood and Close Deals in Business Meetings


NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral Metrics File this under “Things Semanticists Know and So Should You”. It falls in with one of my columns, Communicating Science to Business and Vice Versa. I spend a lot of my time explaining various scientific principles, research and disciplines to business people. I’ve come away with some rules that apply to explaining anything to anybody, period. These rules are semantic in nature and you don’t need to know anything about semantics to make them work, so here goes:

  1. Appeal to the interest of the audience you’re dealing with.The fact that this is so often missed in presentations, trainings, meetings, etc., amazes me. Personal example: I get very high marks for my presentations and trainings. One reason is that I always present and train on things that I’m extremely interested in. My excitement is contagious. My interest and excitement are great and don’t mean a darn if I’m not providing information my audience wants. Forget whether or not they need it, they might not know they need it. But do they want it? Match their wants to your presentation and you’re in.
  2. Think in practical terms.This is where lots of researchers and science folks fall down in business presentations. You can be the recognizably brightest person in the room and unless you can translate your genius into their dollars, your presentation is worthless to them. More than that, it’s an annoyance to them.
  3. Explain/Provide “What is the real benefit?”Part and parcel with the above. Once you’re communicating in their terms — making it practical — then get the benefit across to them, quickly and cleanly.
  4. Get right to the point.This should be obvious by now and I’ll bet some people don’t know there are five parts to “getting right to the point” (I didn’t know them):
    1. This is why this is important to them.They won’t pay attention unless there’s a reason. Give them one.
    2. Here’s your competition and how to respond to it.A great reason to pay attention is because your competition is a) doing it and making money, b) doing it and taking away your market, c) doing it, failing and so will you if you don’t pay attention, …
    3. Here’s our competition and how we respond to it.Case studies demonstrating that you’ve developed a theory, the theory becomes (an) application(s) that you’ve successfully used more than once and that you can “eat your own dog food”.
    4. Here’s how to keep yourself at the head of the line.Demonstrate competitive and market advantage. This is also a great reason they should pay attention.
    5. Here’s what this means for the industry as a whole.Yet another reason to pay attention. Follow this up quickly and closely with “You can lead or follow, your choice.”


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