In the right hands, the humble office whiteboard is the perfect tool for socializing and sharing ideas, communicating value, and persuading audiences.
But it is just that – a tool. Sometimes it’s everything else – the idea, harnessing visuals to communicate that idea, a cohesive, persuasive narrative, the dynamics shift in the presentation – that add up to give sales people and marketers the confidence to put the clicker down, close their laptops and pick up a pen.
How many of you have found you’ve been having more and more informal meetings in coffee shops and cafeterias in recent years? I know I have – and it’s those scenarios where the methodology of whiteboarding is what matters. Put very simply, that looks something like this:
Research is the basis of a strong visual presentation – into the pain points, pressures and tensions your customer has and how you can help them. Once that information is in place, a concise, information-rich and persuasive conversation can be developed around it.
Training & Practice
This kind of informal visual presentation relies on the illusion of spontaneity – “I see you have a whiteboard here, maybe I can use that to show you what I mean…” / “Let me scribble it out for you in my notebook…”
A conversational, fluid presentation style is vital. Learning the narrative that accompanies the visual elements by heart gives the presenter total ownership of the presentation and its content, and the ability to be flexible and informal.
The presentation and its narrative need to be persuasive, well-structured and information-rich. If that’s the case, it won’t rely on having a whiteboard handy. Once a sales person or marketer has ownership and understanding of their presentation, a moleskine, a receipt or the back of a napkin will do.
The presentation matters. The ability of the sales person or marketer to socialize and share their idea matters. The whiteboard… well, that’s just one tool in the arsenal… more on that in future weeks.
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– Tom @WSL