Presentations and Email

This blog was originally published on Forbes as Presentations And Email on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

Readers of mine are familiar with the terms Point B and WIIFY—the first refers to the objective or goal of a presentation, the second, What’s In It For You, refers to the benefit for the audience. These are the essential starting metrics for any presentation; they set the context for all the other components: slides, proof points, use cases, statistics, and the rest. And important metrics they are, considering that, all too often, they are completely absent from presentations. Think of the many times you’ve sat in an audience and said to yourself, “What’s the point of all of this?” or “Why should I care?” No goal, no benefit—which usually results in “No deal!”

My son, who is the director of sales for a Silicon Valley software company, recently asked for my feedback on an email he was composing to an important client. He was considering many items to convey to the client. My immediate reply was to ask, “What’s your Point B? and what’s your WIIFY?”

Of course, my son is quite familiar with my book and my coaching and has become an excellent presenter on behalf of his company, but he had not brought the metrics from his presentation tools to his email. As soon as he answered those questions and set the context of his message, he wrote his email in a few moments.

The key takeaway here is that all communication—email as well as presentations—is about getting your message across with clarity of purpose and, even more important, a clear benefit to the audience.

This blog was originally published on Forbes as Presentations And Email on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

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The Suasive corporate coaching methodology was developed by Jerry Weissman, the world’s number one corporate presentations coach. One of his earliest efforts was the Cisco Systems IPO road show. Following its successful launch, Don Valentine, of Sequoia Capital, and then chairman of Cisco’s Board of Directors, attributed “at least two to three dollars” of the offering price to Mr. Weissman’s coaching. That endorsement led to nearly 600 other IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market. Mr. Weissman’s focus widened from coaching IPOs to include public and privately held companies. His techniques have helped thousands of other firms develop and deliver their mission-critical business presentations.


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