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Focus on your audience

Self-presentation versus client benefit

Reading time 2 minutes

Imagine the following scenario. You’re a company decision-maker, and a potential business partner wants to make a pitch. He appears competent and friendly, and you invite him for an initial meeting. He arrives on time, and you settle down in the meeting room. And then it happens.

This pleasant, smartly dressed gentleman starts telling you the entire history of the family firm in detail since it was founded in 1923. Fast forward 20 minutes. You stare at the screen. Next topic: company mission and values. You’ve not yet exchanged a single word with each other. And your next appointment is in 10 minutes. Are you going to appoint this supplier? Probably not. And with good reason.


The potential business partner did his best but ignored some fundamental rules for successful company presentations. Or maybe he just wasn’t aware of them. The rule here is about taking your audience’s perspective – putting yourself in your listener’s situation, as in the example above. The only thing that really interests your potential client is what your firm can do for his. This information can’t be found in excessive self-presentation and purple-prosed hymns of praise for your company.

How can you make your company presentation more “helpful?” By observing four simple rules:

1. Viewpoint of your client

Establish a relationship with the client and put yourself in their shoes.

  • Which product or service is the right one for them?
  • What are the advantages to the client of appointing you?
  • How much time do they have? 

Be brief and to the point. Up to three advantages are enough. 

2. Your client's target group

  • Who does your potential client work for?
  • Who are their customers?
  • Which services could benefit these customers? 

3. Enter into dialogue

Refer to a real situation that’s currently affecting your potential client. Don’t just talk about what you can do – show them by engaging with them in a dialogue. Perhaps you can help directly with a current problem, and make yourself immediately indispensable. 

4. Client benefits come first

Structure your presentation according to relevance. Advantages and client benefits come first, then methods and working procedures. Keep self-presentation to a minimum.

Your company presentation will always vary a little depending on the client, the occasion, importance, and the target group. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all standard presentation, this calls for a modular approach with flexible elements.

Get more tips on giving presentations in our Insights section.