Bad-mouthing the competition (and why presentations remain the preserve of the classy)

by | Nov 24, 2017 | General information

I may be a little late to the party, but there seems to have been an upturn in large organisations ‘calling out’ their competition. Samsung have been at it recently poking fun at the new iPhone.

Microsoft has shaken the tree by calling out privacy concerns associated with Google. Heck, we’ve even witnessed some passive-aggressive sniping between competitors in our own niche sector.

You might dismiss this as part of the rough and tumble of modern business. Perhaps it’s tied in with some of the more macho posturing associated with concepts like ‘The Challenger Sale’ or the latest trend driven by clever marketing folk finding a way for their challenger brands to puff out their chests, grab attention and highlight the value they can bring to the party.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy the odd combative sales conversation, but this all leaves me a little discombobulated. No doubt much of this goes back to my early sales training and the insistence that you’re never to bad mouth a competition (no matter how tempting). Yet I think my immersion in a world dedicated to creating powerful presentations also has a part to play.

You see, professional presentations are different. They’re just a bit, um, classier.

Great presentations build an intimacy between presenter and audience – they are less about bombast and diatribe and more about considered engagement. Powerful presentations build a bond between parties and weave engaging stories to demonstrate the value of USPs and differentiators. Well-crafted presentations are tasteful affairs that not only treat the audience with the utmost respect but never have to resort to name-calling to get their message across. They still pack a punch…but do so in a subtle and measured way.

Think more Kingsman, less Rambo.

For those remaining doubters still chomping at the bit to have some fun at the expense of the competition, I point you to quote from the endlessly marvellous and inspirational Desmond Tutu:

“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”

Class always wins out.



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