Business Presentations 101: When These People Speak, Wall Street Listens

Paula Mahar on 2015-06-03 22:00:35




The titans of industry who have transformed the business universe have much to teach tomorrow's leaders of commerce. When making a business presentation, using quotes from the men and women whose products make Wall Street sit up and take notice can be an integral feature of your success. Remember that when you make a business presentation, you’re selling a product, and as the presenter, you’re part of that product. The presentation itself needs to be simple, focused, and persuasive. Using words of advice from savvy, successful entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 favorites can support your presentation with advice from the “been there, done that” icons of industry and commerce.

Time Magazine examined the words and work practices of some of the most influential men and women in the modern business world, and found that, while today’s entrepreneurs may thrive on the adrenaline of the deal, they also have good advice that isn’t directly related to the profit margin. How they live their lives is a key aspect of how they’ve designed their success



Amazon CEO and more recently the owner of the Washington Post Jeff Bezos knows a thing or two about innovation. In comparison to the expansiveness of his financial investments, his business advice is succinct; he calls it "the two-pizza rule." According to Bezos, only two pizza pies should be needed to feed a project team. Too many extra-large, multi-cut pizzas mean that too many people are involved, slowing down the energy and agility of the group. Not only that, but keeping the pizzas to a minimum makes good business sense for a man who has over 88,000 employees around the world.

Warren Buffett has made Berkshire Hathaway a barometer for business success, and one of the ways he's built and maintained his reputation is by knowing how the hours are spent. The Sage of Omaha says, "You've got to keep control of your time. And you won't. . .unless you can say no. You can’t let other people set your agenda in life."

Martha Stewart, decorator, is also Martha Stewart, businesswoman, and one of her tricks for successful management is also one of the reasons why her office space would not make a magazine cover. No photograph frames made out of exotic materials, no hand-stitched decorator pillows, nothing that can distract the mind by sending the eye on a detour from the subject at hand. According to Stewart, "The impersonal and pared-down modernist look is actually quite conducive to writing and meetings."

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt regards leadership as a matter of setting and sustaining very basic standards. “You have to spend your time around the things that are really important: setting priorities, measuring outcomes, and rewarding them."

Today's successful business leader doesn’t spend 24/7 in his office. In fact, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone runs away from his office. He explained his strategy in an interview with Runner's World Magazine. "I would pick some problem to have in my head while running. Not for the purpose of solving it, but for the purpose of having it bounce around in there." Stone found that although running is physically demanding, it actually rejuvenates his thought process so that he can work out the problem.

J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon doesn't let business issues take the weekend off. "Problems don't age well," he explained in a USA Today interview. So he uses his time away from work to address the problem, then meets with colleagues to develop a plan of action. But if the weekend doesn't provide a productive solution for the dilemma, Dimon puts it onto the agenda for the work week ahead.

A business presentation that pinpoints sound tactics and outlines clearly defined goals can benefit from guidance from the modern masters of commerce. When making your presentation, figure out what you want to say, and then find quotations from the business world to support your theme. Who can argue with the logic? They already proved that what they did works.

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