The leader of a technology group within a large organization had an exciting business story to tell as they prepared to sell the business unit. But his story was lost in his presentation - as most management presentations do, it began with the history of the business and photos of the management team. His team had developed a 100-plus page slide deck that even they agreed was too long, and at times numbing for the audience. The leader was marching dutifully through a list of facts about the technology, applications, market opportunities, and commercial strategy, but the uniqueness of the business was lost. There was no story.
We went looking for the "wow factor" and found it. Buried in the presentation were comments about customers who used their technology in premium price products. By probing into some of these nuggets of information, we learned that without this company’s technology, it wouldn’t be possible to produce these products, let alone sell them at top prices. The organization was alone in their ability to produce the technology these customers required.
We “unburied” those references by interviewing the marketing director, business leaders and CEO about how the technology was used, and why customers kept coming back. We then began to redesign a more compelling presentation for the technology leader.
- Our process of articulating the “Buyer’s Agenda” brought clarity and simplicity to what had been a dense and confusing proposition for any buyer
- We storyboarded how these products were developed and used by these premium customers
- We worked with the marketing team to develop a visual presentation of the products that punctuated the data with memorable images of products everyone knew and used
- Through several practice sessions, the technology leader developed confidence telling the story that highlighted the value for customers
- As he practiced he was energized, which elevated his executive presence and sent a strong message about his leadership
As we often tell clients, “Every time you get up to speak, you’re auditioning for leadership.” The leader’s presentation style was transformed by improving the content and working with him on energy; we helped him move with greater purpose, command the room, gesture with impact, and make eye contact with the audience. The impact was that he became the same leader in front of the room that people knew and liked in person – energetic, confident and comfortable.
During management presentations, buyers remarked that his was among the best presentations they had seen. They equated his executive presence with leadership capability. The company was sold to a strategic buyer for a premium compared to expected transaction price, and he was retained as CEO.