Presentations have to be focused on the audience and not self-serving. No surprises there right? You wouldn’t expect anything else from me? Quite frankly that doesn’t go far enough! I am a firm believer that you should place your audience above your co-workers, boss or anyone from your company. This might sound like common sense but reality can be a lot tougher than throwing out pithy sentiments.
Are you prepared to stand up for what is right for your customer, audience, or future advocate?
How about before you even begin creating your presentation? Great presentations start before the presentation is crafted. Understanding the true purpose is crucial to any meaningful presentation for your audience.
I recently faced the challenge of “the rubber hitting the road” on this very issue. I was asked to present material that co-workers requested which I believed was self-serving and not in the best interests of my customer. I was challenged to follow my own convictions, beliefs, and opinions on what was truly valuable to the people that really count: the audience. Thankfully, I am no longer afraid to speak up even if it offends people in order to do the right thing. I personally don’t care who you are. I won’t go against my convictions and fail to stand up for the customers best interest even in the software selection sales process.
People have approached me recently to let me know how much they appreciate my openness and boldness in standing up against the craziness of boring and mind numbing corporate decks. Sure I’ve reached a point where I’d rather be unemployed than sell out. That being said, don’t think for a second that I don’t have a killer presentation in my back pocket that would serve as the first blog post if I was “let go.” 😉
I view myself as a guide for buyers inside of the software selection process. I want potential customers to make well informed decisions. I have no interest in exploiting an opportunity to sell. I want to hold up my head with pride in 2-3 years when I walk back into that same company. The most valuable commodity I have is my credibility. I don’t plan on devaluing that currency.
Next time you create a presentation, make sure it’s truly for the primary audience. Don’t try to impress your co-workers, boss or anyone else. Knock the socks off the audience with a presentation that gives them everything they want and more.
STAND UP for them.
They will thank you! Any company worth its salt will appreciate that quality in you. If they don’t, you’re in the wrong place. Don’t be afraid, move on to a new opportunity where Leaders Eat Last. They will provide you with a safe place to take risks, delight your customers, excite your audience, and hold your future advocates above that of any political corporate game.
Now raise your glasses and toast to creating some truly breathtaking presentations in 2014. Let’s turn the tide this year and make progress towards #KillingCorporateDecks.
2 thoughts on “Put Your Co-workers and Boss in Their Place”
More than once I have been told senior managers that they need people to stand up and challenge them and they appreciate that I do that. Of course you have to be respectful of others views and also open to have your own convictions or ideas challenged, but only good can come from this whole process.
100% agree David. I hope I was conveying not to be obnoxious but rather do what is right for the audience before that of your own career aspirations of keeping your boss happy. In the past I’ve run into this issue and it’s never good. I think in the long run if you can resist the temptation to people please in your own management chain or co-workers and be customer obsessed it will work out for the best for all parties involved. Thanks for joining the conversation! We should be walking while discussing this! 😉