As a consultant, we often make highly charged presentations in front of people with a critical eye. This is often at presentations to close new business or advise management of critical exposures. At a presentation to close a very sizable BCP engagement at a large organization, we experienced a highly critical evaluation of our response and its content. We estimated we had invested 150 hours into the RFP response, presentation, preparation and travel in our bid to be a finalist at this presentation. This equates to tens of thousands of dollars in lost billable time.
After our team regrouped and had a martini at the airport, we discussed what we learned and how we could have better prepared
- The moderator may or may not be strong enough to manage the audienc
- Make sure all of your team members are prepared to speak to the conten
- Be prepared for the client to take you off your well-oiled agenda
- Don’t let the audience anger you with irrelevant or demeaning questions
- Listen to the entire question before you answer
- Your answer may not be what the audience is looking for whether its right or wrong
- If you don’t know the answer, be honest and get back to them
- Prepare your references to be grilled and send a thank you card
- There will always be a rogue in the audience; prepare for possible gotcha’s
- Don’t take it personally
- BCP is complex and audience members may or may not know the subject matter
Things we did well:
- Stayed calm and focused
- Kept presentation ideas to groups of three
- Used minimum number of words in our slide deck
- All members of our team spoke to their area of the presentation
- We answered all follow-up questions in 24 hours
We haven’t heard if we closed the business or not. We will continue to improve our process and ensure we are ready for the next hotseat presentation!
About MHA: MHA Consulting, with its decade-long track record, is a proven leader in business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, IT best practices and data center moves and relocations. Every day, MHA helps protect trillions of dollars of global-market assets and top companies around the world rely on MHA services for the continuity of their business. For more information on MHA, contact Michael Herrera at herrera at mha-it dot com.