Whenever you make a presentation you’re representing your organization, not just yourself. At that moment you are the face of the organization. But are you well versed in the organization’s brand promise?
Or are you only focused on the messages you want to communicate about your area of expertise?
What is Your Organization’s Brand?
A brand is what an organization wants to be known for. It establishes the direction and clarity of purpose for the organization and its offerings. For example, FedEx’s brand promises that you can absolutely count on the company to get your package delivered the next morning.
If you’re not clear about your organization’s brand, you need to learn about it and then weave the organization’s brand promise into your presentation.
It’s amazing how often we work with speakers who know very little about their organization’s brand. They don’t get the big picture because their noses are buried in their own little niche.
Or, possibly, the CEO hasn’t communicated to employees what the brand stands for. That leaves employees in the dark and they don’t have a clue. Nonetheless, you still have a responsibility to understand the organization’s brand. You don’t work in isolation. You’re part of a larger enterprise.
Do Your Research
Your organization’s website is a good place to start. You may be familiar with the information there that that relates to your area of responsibility.
But when was the last time you screened that video of the chairman speaking at your trade association’s annual meeting, or read the company’s white papers and annual report? They’re all there. Read through them to learn the organization’s priorities.
That’s just what’s available to the public. If your organization has an intranet, do a search for your key words. That will return documents that can help you to clarify the points you want to make in your own presentation and how they support the organization’s brand.
You will discover what other people in the organization are talking about. You don’t want your presentation to conflict with your organization’s official points of view.
Also consult with your PR and marketing departments. They can give you background information and their latest press releases and relevant marketing materials.
Ask them how you might support their initiatives in your presentation. You’ll show that you’re a team player. Even a simple mention might get tweeted and go viral.
Do a Competitive Analysis
What are your organization’s competitors saying about themselves? What are consumers saying about you and your competitors?
Let’s imagine you’re planning to make a presentation about the product your division makes. You know it’s superior to a similar product a competitor launched months after yours went to market. That’s the “big idea” of your presentation – that you have a better product.
You learn that the trade press and consumer reviews regard your company’s product as better than anything they’ve ever used before. Your company has earned that all-important consumer brand loyalty.
As branding legend Al Reis wrote in Advertising Age, “Having a better brand is better than having a better product.” And it’s a better to be first than it is to be better. The consumer’s perception is all that counts.
You’re fortunate because you were first to market and you’re confident that you have a better product – a double win. Just think how your organization’s brand will add luster to your own personal brand and to your presentation.
So doesn’t it make sense to be knowledgeable about your organization’s brand the next time you’re making a presentation?
- Consumer Advice: Your Brand’s Loyalty Program is the Wrong Way Round (business2community.com)
- How to Recover When a Spokesperson Tarnishes Your Brand (presenting-yourself.com)
- Cadillac Doesn’t Need A New Brand, Just A Strong Brand (forbes.com)