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  • David

“Product Briefing” is boring by nature?!

Updated: Mar 5

One of the most common internal presentation made in our industry is product briefing.  The briefing could be an overview on a product set or introduction to a new product. In the current deregulating China market, there are plenty of the latter. Common contents these days include revamped functionalities of Internet banking, new wealth management products or innovative packaged financing arrangement for small-to-medium enterprises.

Most colleagues (at least those in my classes) consider product briefing to be a more difficult type of presentation. They reasoned that product briefing contains a lot of dry fact (e.g. detailed system constraint for cash concentration solution) which is NOT exciting by nature. It is unlike those motivational speeches delivered by senior leaders, as claimed by my participants. And indeed, product briefings in the banks I worked for turned to be quite boring sometimes…..

I agree that product briefing type of presentation is more difficult to deliver, but I do not agree that it has to be boring. To be exact, I believe that there are much more we can do to make product briefing more exciting. And here is an example how product briefing can be exciting. This short video was about Steve Jobs introducing iPod to the world the first time in 2001.

In this product briefing, Steve faced the same presentation difficulties our product people faced at work. For example, he has to outline the product features e.g. size, battery length, price, weight, downloading speed – something which are normally considered to be dry fact. But his presentation did not sound boring, right? And why? Or more importantly, what can we learn and apply back to the banking product briefing?

WIIFM – He did not just dump product features. He talked about the features from the perspective of the audience (note that the event was called ‘Apple Music Event’.) He has WIIFM answered.

This actually relates to my another thought about the thing we called ‘dry fact’. From the technical perspective, yes, there is dry fact. But from the persuasion perspective, there should not be such thing. For example, technically ‘battery life of 10 hours’ is a piece of dry fact. But from the persuasion perspective, we should think what it means to the target audience. Longer battery life should be presented as ‘less hassle in having to charge your music player’.

In the sales literatures, we will call this either ‘Advantage’ or ‘Benefit’. Yes, iPod is an exceptionally-popular product to most people. But your product should also contain its own ‘Advantage’ or ‘Benefit’ to your target audience. Well, otherwise, there is not much point to conduct the briefing in the very first place.

Visual Aid – His visual aid was simple. In fact, most slides contained just a few words or a simple diagram. No slide is full of words – which is quite common in the current business presentation. Remember ‘Less is More’? His visual aid was reinforcing but not diluting his message (well… that’s why we call it visual AID!!)

In addition, he had himself as the lead actor, rather than the slides. People like to connect with people rather than slides / machines Steve stood upfron on the stage and had a lot of eye contact. Be himself.

Preparation – He knew the stuff well, and more importantly, he knew what he had planned to present well. He was very conversational and at ease on the movie clip. Whilst Steve is a natural public speaker, his confident performance would not come without preparation like rehearsal. In the banking environment, it is not difficult to find presenters simply reading slides by slides, mainly because of lack of preparation.

So, how would you conduct your next product briefing differently?

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