Business presentations can mean different things to different people, but a common theme seems to be an intent to convey a call to action in one fashion or another. There are prominent software alternatives that include the word “presentation” in their official names or informal descriptions. If someone is asked to make a corporate presentation on any number of topics, there can be fixed assumptions about what will be included or excluded. This article will not be about business presentation strategies that are likely to involve “traditional” presentations.
A Special Note: Business Identity Theft and Content Theft on the Internet
The content on this page appears (without legal permission) in a variety of locations throughout the internet without any credit whatsoever to the author, Stephen Bush (that would be me). This is not the first time this has happened to me, but it is time for such internet thievery to be stopped. This is nothing less than a new variation of business identity theft. Thankfully Google has embarked on a challenging mission to identify illegal and irresponsible duplicate content from the face of the internet earth. In the meantime, readers are rightfully confused. In a variation of “Don’t shoot the messenger,” please blame the growing population of internet content thieves for this confusion rather than the ethical writers who produced the original writing.
A Call to Action With a Pass or Fail Outcome
There are several variations of a “call to action” that typically fall outside of traditional business presentations. Two examples of these non-traditional presentation strategies are the following business communication processes:
- Business proposal writing
- Business negotiating
While both of the above illustrations might be outside of mainstream presentations, they are both arguably among the most important and critical management activities within any company. Both also represent clear examples of persuasive communicating at its finest. Both usually result in a clear “pass or fail” outcome: a proposal that is either accepted or rejected and negotiations that are either successful or unsuccessful.
Hidden Business Opportunities
Business negotiations and writing proposals often provide hidden opportunities to tell a corporate story in a manner that can provide extensive and long-term dividends. If done effectively, business proposals and negotiating can create a positive corporate image that lasts long after the “presentation” itself even when the immediate result is not favorable. Here are some typical possibilities:
- A “losing” proposal that presented a company in a favorable light results in a competitor that had the winning proposal later inviting the losing business to participate in a joint venture proposal effort.
- Despite a negotiating process that results in a “failure” to reach an immediate consensus, a potential buyer of goods or services approaches a business about the possibility of a separate business relationship.
One Non-Traditional Presentation Leads to Another
Proposals and negotiations can be found together in some instances. In many Request for Proposal (RFP) processes, price and cost negotiations are intentionally left until last. This eliminates the need for all potential bidders to unnecessarily devote time to calculating and presenting detailed cost data. More often than not, the proposal process created by the RFP establishes an initial proposal evaluation stage in which several top candidates are identified. Once this occurs, those submitting the leading proposals (based on the RFP scoring guidelines) are invited to participate in the negotiating stage. When done effectively, one non-traditional business presentation leads to another.