What Matters Most in Any Presentation

Last month the New York Times ran a front-page story on the health-care debate. The first two sentences read: "What's in it for me? On the subject of health-care reform, most Americans probably don't have a good answer to that question." Obama got the hint. In his televised press conference the very next night, Obama tried to connect the dots more clearly. "I realize that with all the charges and criticisms that are being thrown around in Washington, a lot of Americans may be wondering: What's in this for me? … So tonight I want to answer those questions." He proceeded to answer his own rhetorical question by outlining the plan's benefits for three categories of individuals—those who have insurance, those who are uninsured, and those who own their own small business. Although it's too early to tell what a new health plan will look like under the Obama Administration, it's clear that Obama is relying on an important communications technique to sell the benefit of his ideas—a technique that you can and should use in your pitches, presentations, and sales calls. It's as simple as connecting the dots for your listeners by answering the one question that matters most: Why should you care?

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