If 2016 is the year that your business is expanding internationally; you will no doubt be speaking to local customers and regional stakeholders with a vested interest in your new outreach. This unfortunately comes with an all-new set of challenges.
Comvort will assist in your preparation for such an event, offering industry leading insight and feedback on your pitch. Begin with this handy checklist as we make this process a whole lot easier:
Research the company – The more you know the better. Observing their company culture and mission statement will give you a better understanding of how you should approach and address them. Focus on your body language and tone of voice, placing particular impetus on conveying enthusiasm and confidence. This is especially important when everyone in the room might be not be speaking the same language. This is something you can easily practice in the mirror.
Establish objectives – Do you want to make a quick sale now or spark an interest that will later lead to presenting your ideas in front of key decision makers? Be sure to spend time building a relationship and establishing objectives, particularly in countries that value long-term partnerships.
Prepare yourself for cultural gaps – A prime example of this can be American business people often being uncomfortable with silences in conversation and will tend to keep talking or engaging in ‘small talk’ when they’re listening to the proposal of another party. When preparing for an international meeting it is a must to read up on the local culture and avoid any potential awkward moments.
Take your time doing business – In the western world we believe in and apply the common expression “Time is money”, however Asian cultures do not share this approach to time and processes can be slower in comparison.
Speak clearly and avoid jargon, slang and idioms – Stick to Standard English. Not everyone has heard of and understands expressions such as ‘that’s a piece of cake’ or ‘kill two birds with one stone’. Also give your audience an occasional pause, allowing them time to take notes and catch up.
Use visual aids & handouts in your presentation: This allows your audience to receive your message on a number of channels and will increase effectiveness.
Bilingual staff: If you are regularly conducting business on an international stage it might be worth hiring a bilingual member of staff. Ensuring that your pitch’s insight and advice is communicated in in a fluid and cohesive manner.
If you have any further suggestions to optimise any international pitch, please let us know in the comments below!