Presenting to Business People

In our study of technical people over the semester, we learned about how to talk to, motivate, and deal with technical people, but now we are going to flip the tables and look at how to present to business people.  The main thing that makes a difference is that business people aren’t motivated by tech or the same things that motivate technical people.  There are several important things to remember when presenting to business people, and one of the most important is that business people are goal oriented.  The very first thing you need to do is make your make your goal clear which can be difficult for technical people since technical people are problem oriented.  You need to make sure to that you organize your presentation in a way that your goal is apparent to the audience and can convince them to take action on your presentation.  The next important thing is to get into your audience’s head, and this means that you need to understand where everyone is starting from and if you have information that your audience needs to know.  The next thing you need to do is to determine is what is most important for your audience to know because you do not want your presentation to last for longer than needed and they can ask questions when you’re done presenting the most important information.

The best example I have was when I had to teach the younger scouts about things that they did not want to learn or were not interested in the topic I needed to teach.  This was similar to presenting to business people because their goal was to advance to the next rank and I had to convince them that what I was going to teach them was important to them not only to help them advance to the next rank but information that they needed to know in general.  To get them to pay attention and learn what I needed for them to learn I would present what they needed to learn in a scenario and ask them to solve the scenario knowing that they would not be able to solve the problem.  This would show them the importance of paying attention and learning what they were supposed to learn by showing them that they needed to know the information I wanted to teach them.  This was my way of getting into their heads and getting them to realize that my goal was a goal that they needed to accept themselves and make their own goal.  I only presented them with the most important information but left enough out that they would ask questions that would lead to further discussion and not only get the Scouts interested but also get them to ask questions that would allow the conversation toward what they wanted to learn.  After a few times of putting this plan into action, the Scouts would be excited to learn and before I could even start teaching the requirements they would ask me what the scenario was or even ask me more questions about the week before.  I thought it was great that I was able to inspire them to learn more.

This chapter is very important because not only does it explain how to talk to business people, but also how to run a productive meeting.  This is extremely important because meetings can be seen as a waste of time when meetings, when done properly, can be both helpful and informative to all parties involved.



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