Ideally, a corporate lunch should take place in a room, with air-conditioning on warmer days, and listeners 100% focused on you. However, great opportunities do not always present themselves as we would hope – but this is no reason to miss out on them.
Your chance to talk about a new project, a change of path or innovative plan might be during lunchtime, for instance. Having meals with your boss or potential clients are recurring situations you can use to introduce great ideas, hence the importance of being ready to show how good your idea is.
Sure, unexpected issues may come up, but if you address them tactfully and train your speech properly your chances of success are huge.
We have listed six tips to help you prepare for your next corporate lunch.
Before delivering any presentation, you must know by heart your audience’s interests and needs. In a corporate lunch is no different. Carry out a thorough research about the person you are meeting with and what type of innovation and solution the company, and its specific department, is looking for to guarantee you will offer something that makes sense and interests your listener.
A corporate lunch is still a meal. Your interlocutor will be sharing his/her attention between your speech, the food and other distractions – such as the noise in the restaurant and the waiter coming to the table regularly. So, it is of uttermost importance to get his/her attention right in the beginning, assuring your message is comprehended. Be straightforward, clear and brief in your intentions.
Classify your information
Divide the information between “most important” and “least important”. If there is not enough time to discuss everything you wanted to, at least you make sure the essential message is delivered.
Avoid alcoholic beverages
Although it is lunch, the context demands solemnity. In order to have a flowing conversation, good verbal and non-verbal communication, the speaker must be sober. Otherwise, he/she might lose concentration and get lost in the speech. So, even if the other person orders or offers you a drink, decline and say, “thank you”.
Eat whenever you want, speak whenever you can
This is a motherly advice: “Speaking with your mouth full is unpolite” – and it is no different here. Obviously, we are supposed to eat during lunch, nonetheless, our focus is divided between what we see, hear, feel and do.
If you want your listener to pay attention at what you are saying, save your speech to the breaks between dishes or the coffee just after the meal, when your audience’s attention is most likely to be focused on your speech.
Bringing up your ideas during the meal is not frowned upon, after all this is a casual gathering, but remember to respect the space of your listener and to find the most appropriate moment to talk.
Should I bring slides?
The answer to this question is “No!”. The visual support is a great ally to make your presentation memorable. However, it is not recommended during lunch. It seems inconvenient to open a laptop on the table and show dozens of slides or even hand in a brochure that must be managed.
If the meeting is taking place in a restaurant that offers a private room and an appropriate place for a presentation, then you may make use of such resource, but remember: always between courses.
If you follow our tips, your presentation will stand out more than the main dish.
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