Millions of dollars are won everyday in business by those who understand how to communicate and appeal to peoples’ emotions–yet, people mistakenly focus on the product and not the audience. Your audience doesn’t care how many bells and whistles your product offers if they can’t draw relevant benefits to their lives. Your presentation will sink if you don’t make this link. You audience wonders, “How does this help me? Does it put money in my pocket? Does it ease my time constraints?” These answers must be an organic part of your presentation and clearly communicated.

I recently attended a meeting where industry leaders pitched their new product to a panel of 30 venture capitalists. Each had five minutes to engage and inspire the audience with their personal bios and product attributes. After each presentation, they were asked a few questions about their product. It was a wake up call for some seasoned executives. They quickly discovered that the word Harvard, CEO, or Executive didn’t mean anything to people looking to invest in the world’s next big technology tool. They had to quickly and succinctly capture attention and then sustain it by putting product content in the right context.

The common mistake in each presentation was a failure to include a direct benefit to the investor and how, or why, the product will appeal to end-users. The audience sat in a sea of product features and functions without clear benefits. It was product-centered instead of customer-centered; it was logical, but not emotional. A persuasive pitch meeting shouldn’t sound like someone reading ingredients from a cookbook.

Put your product content in the context of what appeals to your listener and you will increase your number of victories.

This story was originally published at