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Presenting to Win: The Power of the WIIFY

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This chapter is from the book
Ensure that your presentation stays focused on what matters most: getting your audience to move from Point A to Point B, because you've given them a very good reason to make that move.

Company Examples

  • Brooktree
  • Netflix
  • Luminous Networks

What's In It For You?

The key building block for Audience Advocacy, and a way to focus on benefits rather than features, is to constantly ask the key question: What's in it for you? It's based on the more common axiom "What's in it for me?," but we've shifted the ultimate word to "you" deliberately, to shift the focus from you to your audience. This shift emphasizes the ultimate need for all communicators to be focused outward, on the needs of their audience ("you"), rather than on their own needs ("me"). This is the essence of Audience Advocacy.

In referring to this key question, let's use the acronym WIIFY (pronounced "whiffy"). By constantly seeking the WIIFY in any persuasive situation, you can ensure that your presentation stays focused on what matters most: getting your audience to move from Point A to Point B, because you've given them a very good reason to make that move.

The WIIFY is the benefit to the specific audience in your persuasive situation. Usually there will be one overarching, grand WIIFY that unites the entire presentation and is at the heart of your persuasive case.

For example, when an entrepreneurial CEO and his or her management team launch an IPO road show for potential investors, the WIIFY is, "If you invest in our company, you'll enjoy an excellent return on your money!"

On the other hand, when a corporate headhunter makes a job offer to a sought-after young recruit, the WIIFY is, "If you join our firm, you'll be starting an incredible career with great pay, fascinating challenges, and the prospect of some day becoming the company president!"

When a partner in a marketing consulting firm makes a new business proposal to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a Fortune 500 company, the WIIFY might be, "If you retain us, the expertise we'll provide will improve your promotional plans, which can increase your market share and boost your profits!"

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