Ideally, a corporate lunch should take place in a room, with air-conditioning on warmer days, and listeners 100% focused on you. However, great opportunities do not always present themselves as we would hope – but this is no reason to miss out on them.
Your chance to talk about a new project, a change of path or innovative plan might be during lunchtime, for instance. Having meals with your boss or potential clients are recurring situations you can use to introduce great ideas, hence the importance of being ready to show how good your idea is.
Sure, unexpected issues may come up, but if you address them tactfully and train your speech properly your chances of success are huge.
We have listed six tips to help you prepare for your next corporate lunch.
Before delivering any presentation, you must know by heart your audience’s interests and needs. In a corporate lunch is no different. Carry out a thorough research about the person you are meeting with and what type of innovation and solution the company, and its specific department, is looking for to guarantee you will offer something that makes sense and interests your listener.
A corporate lunch is still a meal. Your interlocutor will be sharing his/her attention between your speech, the food and other distractions – such as the noise in the restaurant and the waiter coming to the table regularly. So, it is of uttermost importance to get his/her attention right in the beginning, assuring your message is comprehended. Be straightforward, clear and brief in your intentions.
Classify your information
Divide the information between “most important” and “least important”. If there is not enough time to discuss everything you wanted to, at least you make sure the essential message is delivered.
Avoid alcoholic beverages
Although it is lunch, the context demands solemnity. In order to have a flowing conversation, good verbal and non-verbal communication, the speaker must be sober. Otherwise, he/she might lose concentration and get lost in the speech. So, even if the other person orders or offers you a drink, decline and say, “thank you”.
Eat whenever you want, speak whenever you can
This is a motherly advice: “Speaking with your mouth full is unpolite” – and it is no different here. Obviously, we are supposed to eat during lunch, nonetheless, our focus is divided between what we see, hear, feel and do.
If you want your listener to pay attention at what you are saying, save your speech to the breaks between dishes or the coffee just after the meal, when your audience’s attention is most likely to be focused on your speech.
Bringing up your ideas during the meal is not frowned upon, after all this is a casual gathering, but remember to respect the space of your listener and to find the most appropriate moment to talk.
Should I bring slides?
The answer to this question is “No!”. The visual support is a great ally to make your presentation memorable. However, it is not recommended during lunch. It seems inconvenient to open a laptop on the table and show dozens of slides or even hand in a brochure that must be managed.
If the meeting is taking place in a restaurant that offers a private room and an appropriate place for a presentation, then you may make use of such resource, but remember: always between courses.
If you follow our tips, your presentation will stand out more than the main dish.
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In order to preparing a presentation, we have to be clear. All information available seems to be important. Sometimes, for many of us, it’s hard to distinguish a detail from the information that really matters.
Does the audience need to know all information about the topic? Are they familiarized with the topic? Is there any particular part of the presentation that can captivate the interest of the public?
When you identify your audience, it is possible to check what topics interest them. Otherwise, the presentation can end up with confused listeners who don’t know pay attention to the presenter or to the visual material.
In this post, we will share some tips to help you see clearly what is necessary to include on slides and what you must leave out from your presentation.
Customize the presentation according to the presenter.
It’s always good to remember that an efficient narrative is based on the audience’s characteristics. The focus should be on the public and on the process that you gonna use to show your ideas and, as a result, achieve better results.
The slides, however, should be prepared according to the presenter’s characteristics. The purpose is having clear information and the solution is present just some guidelines to direct the presenter. Either the slides and the presenter should make the subject more clear and easy to comprehend.
The visual support has a big roll in the success of the presentation, but don’t forget it is only complementary information to the presenter. The best slides are always concise and just use keywords, images or short sentences.
Define the main message for each slide.
Instead of passing thousands of information on the same slide, you must choose a main idea for each one. In that way, the presenter won’t get lost while delivering it.
Slides with too much content can make: the presenter confused; the presenter fail the sequence of the speech; the presenter waste precious time.
Before you start to organize your presentation, try to ask yourself: “What is the goal of the presentation? What is the best way to deliver the message? How can I keep the public’s attention?”
When the relevant points are simplified, people assimilate and memorize the information easily.
Pictures or illustrations, when alone, can hardly bring enough information to explain the content. They are just supporting material that makes the communication easier.
Neuroscience studies have shown the power of images in presentations. If we listen to an oral presentation, three days after, we will probably remember only 10% of it. Whit images, the probability that we remember the content rises to 65%. This discovery has already a name: picture superiority effect.
When the presenter knows all content it is easier to use images and, it can be a way of showing that he masters the subject.
The Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, at TED Talks, did a presentation only using personal photos and videos to talk about his experiences in space.
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Storytelling is a communication technique. It is put to practice more effectively when it is authentic and relatable. It can also be tailored to who you are telling it to. Like Chelsea Clinton said on this post.
Everybody has a story to tell. Brands, services and products also do. It is the way that they do it, that can move people to react to it. One who mastered well this technique was Steve Jobs. On the video below, you can watch his presentation on Apple’s rebranding on his comeback to the company. After watch it, you will feel transformed.
What we believe at SOAP, is that in order to be effective with your communication, you need to put yourself in the eyes of the beholder. You need to make the audience care, feel and act, on what you are about to present to them. There is a difference in telling, that this service is X and it will be beneficial to Z, to, I tried the service X, because air headed as I am, I went to a grocery store and forgot my wallet, all I had was my smartphone and wifi, Z was the reason why my friend, who just arrived from a long distance flight, ate dinner that night.
Stories that are relatable creates niches in the memory, making them stick on your audience. And above all make them react, or feel different from when they started paying attention to your presentation. That is what we call the transformation.
The pitch Steve Jobs gave before showing the new Apple Slogan on the video above, was his and Apple’s team journey to the new vision, then he showed the video that resulted from that journey.
Below are two examples of storytelling used by brands and services.
Honey Bunches of Oats
Authentic: It uses a real employee as the main character, telling a true story in her own words.
Relatable: The smell of cookies is something you can feel when going to a deli
AirBnB : Wall and Chain: a story of breaking down walls
Authentic: The service was a medium to the story
Relatable: Historic Background and emotions
Were you transformed by the videos above?
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