This is the first in a three-part Business English Podcast series on pitching, or presenting, your ideas persuasively and convincingly.
Business people often come up with ideas about how to do things better, or how something can be changed to provide greater cost benefits to the company. Being able to present an idea to your peers and persuade them to support your proposal is a crucial skill for all business managers.
So in today’s lesson, we’ll introduce phrases for organizing and structuring your ideas, supporting your points and using other people’s comments to lead into the next part of your presentation. We will show you how to make coherent, persuasive arguments, and use language effectively to support your arguments. It is your colleagues’ task to find the weak points in your argument and you will have to predict their objections and deal with them before or when they come up.
We’ll be listening to Jill, a manager at an industrial supply company, who’s meeting with other managers and department heads following an announcement of 20% staff cuts across the board. Jill is concerned about the impact these layoffs will have on the sales department, especially because sales have been poor for the last two quarters.
Jill has had an idea about how the company can make use of the Internet to increase sales and allow sales staff to focus more on “value-added” product sales. She has already pitched the idea to her boss and he has agreed to allow her to present it to her colleagues. As the dialog starts, Jill’s boss introduces her and her proposal to the participants at the meeting.
1. What is the problem that Pylon was having even before the staff cuts?
2. What are the “value-add” products Jill would like sales staff to focus on?
3. What does Jill say can be done with $5,000?