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Bureaucracy in Presentations (or, Presentation of Bureaucracy)

On the hazard of self-admiration in presentations shown to clients.

Imagine yourself making a presentation "On the Company". Now the Company consists of a Management, Local Branches, a Sales Department, and a Shipping Department. When making such a presentation, it is often very tempting to speak of all these departments one after another. Which is a very big mistake. The reason is, the Company clients are not, as a rule, interested in its inner structure. We call this phenomenon 'bureaucracy projection on presentation'.

Ask yourself: are you interested to know the organizational structure of your supplier company? To learn what departments they have, and what are their functions? Or are you rather interested in what they can offer, what level of service they provide, what their advantages are and what they are based upon?

This is precisely the way your clients would perceive your presentation. First of all, they want to learn what advantages they can draw out of co-operation with. Therefore you should engage in the description of these advantages, corroborating your theses with arguments. And these arguments may include tales of the Management, the Local Branches, and the Shipping Department.

Example:

Value for the Client Argument
A supplier close to you! Look at out branch network! We are everywhere!
Uninterrupted supply! Our Shipping Dept.: the best in the industry, and always awake!
We are open; we are easy to deal with! The Company's reputation is confirmed by that of its head. By the way, here he is. Call him whenever you need.

So far, so good. But then, the Sales Department people rush in saying, "Well, and where are we?" This is the moment to understand that the Sales Department may well be the Company most important body, but of no importance for the Client. Therefore it does not appear at the stage.

Briefly, the presentation should be made "For the Client" rather than "About the Company".

P.S. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. The first one is the situation where what the audience is interested in is the structure of the company. The second one, quoting the Russian humorist M. Zhvanetski, is when you are not interested in the results.

Andrey Skvortsov
CEO, Mercator group


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