Bubble Armor: Preparing for that IMPORTANT Presentation

by Chris Brown on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Have you ever lost sleep the night before the big presentation? I know I always sleep better if I know I’m prepared. It dates back to high school and having all my music memorized for the marching band shows. If I knew all my show steps, my music and had it all prepared, I loved the show… but if I wasn’t sure, it was not fun!!

Problem is, when you create your own business, no one hands you your music to memorize, your script to read, or a prepackaged story to communicate your product’s or service’s features, benefits and value proposition. And if you can’t communicate quickly and clearly, your bubble can easily be popped. Flickr photo courtesy Jeff Kubina.

When you are responsible for branding and marketing your business, you have to become the composer, the playwright, the author of your own presentations. If you’re anything like me, you find it easy to write about other people’s products and services but hard to do it for your own work. I love promoting other people’s business, but sometimes find myself tongue tied when it comes to my own business. Ironic! Anyway, here’s a great tool to help untie the tongue — a great list of terrific questions that will help prepare you for that BIG MEETING.

Derek Cheshire of Interactive Media Design shares 50 Ways to a Bright Idea that will be invaluable to all of us who sleep better when we’re prepared. This is a terrific list to prepare for a media phone call, a sales call, a meeting with a Venture Capitalist or even a weekend at your in-laws! I’ve seen questions set up like this for interviewing, but haven’t seen one like this for a business.

1. Who is affected by the problem?
2. Who else has it?
3. Who says it is a problem?
4. Who would like a solution?
5. Who would not like a solution?
6. Who could prevent a solution?
7. Who needs it solved more than you?

8. When does it occur?
9. When doesn’t it occur?
10. When did it appear?
11. When will it disappear?
12. When do other people see your problem as a problem?
13. When don’t other people see your problem as a problem?
14. When is the solution needed?
15. When might it occur again?
16. When will it get worse?
17. When will it get better?

18. Why is this situation a problem?
19. Why do you want to solve it?
20. Why don’t you want to solve it?
21. Why doesn’t it go away?
22. Why would someone else want to solve it?
23. Why wouldn’t someone else want to solve it?
24. Why is it easy to solve?
25. Why is it hard to solve?

26. What might change about it?
27. What are its main weaknesses?
28. What do you like about it?
29. What do you dislike about it?
30. What can be changed about it?
31. What can’t be changed?
32. What do you know about it?
33. What don’t you know about it?
34. What will it be like if it is solved?
35. What will it be like if it isn’t solved?
36. What have you done in the past with similar problems?
37. What principles underlie it?
38. What values underlie it?
39. What problem elements are related to one another?
40. What assumptions are you making about it?
41. What seems to be most important about it?
42. What seems to be least important about it?
43. What are the sub-problems?
44. What are your major objectives in solving it?
45. What else do you need to know?

46. Where is it most noticeable?
47. Where is it least noticeable?
48. Where else does it exist?
49. Where is the best place to begin looking for solutions?
50. Where does it fit in the larger scheme of things?

Think of this list as Bubble Armor: Defense against Anyone who may want to Poke Holes in your Dream. Thanks for sharing this list, Derek. I know it will help me and perhaps others who read this blog as a marketing and branding tool to help in finding your target market, understanding their fear/pain, describing benefits to the market and communicating your solutions’ value.

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