Don’t Tell them all about your organisation

Designing a presentation without an audience in mind, is like writing a love letter and addressing it to whom it may concern.
— Ken Haemer
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Often when meeting a potential client we hear the words: Tell us all about yourselves.  So, they have asked so do they want to hear all about us?

No. They don’t want to hear all about you. No, not how many people you employ, no not how many offices and no not how much you spend on research.  This is tempting for you because it takes you so little time to regurgitate this content. 

If you have been asked to pitch, they have done their homework and decided you have the ability to deliver the outcomes they want. So, don’t waste their time.

A client of ours asked for some advice on her draft pitch.  The first five slides were about her organisation. Yes, you have guessed: how many people worldwide, how many offices, how much invested in research each year. Beautiful slides, but boring.

We asked her what she knew about the strategic priorities of her customer and what else was important to her customer (a not-for profit hospital group).  Then she created her first two slides to summarise this information. From here the only slides used in the presentation were those that showed how her organisation was helping with the strategic priorities.

When she arrived to make the pitch, her closest competitor had just finished.  The chairman of the evaluation committee said, “We are looking forward to hearing all about your organisation.”

She replied, “I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am not going to talk about my organisation. I am going to talk about what I think is important to your organisation and how we can help you achieve your goals.” 

After the presentation, the chairman said:” That’s the best presentation we have ever seen. Can we please have a copy of your slides?”

So, when the client says, “Tell us about yourself”, don’t. To win the pitch: only talk about the client.