Business Presentation Secrets - Let's Do Lunch


  • Author Milly Sonneman
  • Published October 9, 2011
  • Word count 518

Lunch is a great place for successful business presentations. At least that's that's the word out of a recent survey by Robert Half Management Resources.

Here's what 1,400 finance executives replied when asked for their most successful meeting place other than the office:

  • Restaurant (36%)

  • Trade Show Or Conference (25%)

  • Sporting Event (4%)

  • Golf Course (3%)

  • In A Car (1%)

  • On A Trip/Plane (1%)

  • Nowhere Else (24%), And

Other/Don't Know/Refused (4%).

Of course, while you're meeting over food, it's helpful to know exactly what to do - -and what tools to do it with.

Here's what I'm talking about.

Recently, I was out to lunch at a charming café in the heart of California's wine country. I was sitting with other locals at their lovely marble counter. This café is known for fresh ingredients, a warm atmosphere, and a great wine list. It's also known for being the kind of spot where locals and visitors meet and mingle.

In this personal and friendly setting, what happened next was extremely odd and out of place.

Ever see a businessman who takes up all the room? Well, this guy fit the bill. I didn't get his name, but his voice, physical presence, and laptop on the counter just about had me running out the door.

This loud businessman took up all the air at the counter. He ordered a hamburger, slugged down a glass of wine, and propped up his laptop. It was disgusting.

Not at all the charming lunch I was looking forward to having. Then, he proceeded to treat his prospect and all of us at the counter to a boring PowerPoint slide presentation about real estate investing.

It was awful. The presentation was dull and tedious. Plus, it completely destroyed the ambiance. It didn't look like his prospect was too thrilled either.

Don't let this happen to you! Make sure you follow a few simple guidelines for a successful business lunch -- and a winning presentation.

When you are meeting a business client or prospect over lunch, use these 3 rules:

Rule 1: Ask For A Private Table

While at your table, speak in a conversational tone. Avoid screaming or speaking loudly so other diners can hear you.

Rule 2: Skip The Slide Presentation

It's hard to see slides in a brightly lit lunchroom. Plus, you are likely to spill drinks or food on your computer. Instead, focus on conversation and dialogue.

Rule 3: Sketch On A Napkin

To increase conversation and memorable discussion, draw a simple sketch. Use a napkin or piece of paper to capture the interaction. Be sure to give the napkin to your client.

Not sure what to draw on the napkin? I encourage you to tell your story with simple shapes and key words. If you want to learn pro tricks and tips for doing this on the fly, check out new online courses in visual storytelling. You'll find fast and easy tips to be engage your clients with just a napkin and a pen.

If you use these simple steps, you can join the other successful finance executives and sales professionals who know: its just good business to meet over lunch.

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at:

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