Three Tips to Get Decision Makers to Listen


#1 Get to the point in 30 seconds

 Make your first line your bottom line. After saying “Good morning,” launch right in to what you want. They need the context up front. 

As Steve Blank, founder and CEO of E.Piphany said, “You have 30 seconds to get my attention. If you fail to do that, I’m on the internet.”


#2 Dump the PowerPoint slides

“If you can’t talk without the slides, I don’t think you know what you are talking about and I don’t give you the money,” said Ned Barnholt, former CEO of Agilant. 

Dan Eilers, a former CEO and VC said, “The best slide is no slide.” These executives want a discussion, not a narrated slide show.



#3 Embrace Improv

“80% of your success is facilitation skills; 20% is content,” CEO, OneID, Steve Kirsch, told us. Things can go sideways in a heartbeat in a top-level meeting. Be light on your feet. Do not force a suddenly out-dated agenda. You must anticipate food fights; time cut; topic change, etc. It is their meeting, and they’re do whatever they want. 


Big Dogs in both non-profit and in corporate settings are time-stressed. They have another meeting in five minutes. As they glance at their Rolex, they’re thinking, “What the hell is your point? How can I get rid of this person?” If you follow these three tips, your chances of getting a fair hearing and of getting the money, support, personnel, etc. go WAY up. Good luck.


For more information: 


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