Most of us haven’t been taught how to explain, says Josh Braun, vice president of business development at digital agency Jellyvision. He recommends planning what you want to say with these seven principles in mind:

  1. Focus on benefits, not features. Ask yourself, “Why does this matter to the client? Why should they care?”

  2. Tell stories. From the earliest days, humans have learned more from storytellers than from lecturers.

  3. Use visuals. The right words are important, but a picture can often communicate more memorably.

  4. Use metaphor. This can be a shortcut to show how something unfamiliar resembles something familiar. For example: “Retirement planning is a journey, but don’t worry—you’ll find a parking spot at the end.”

  5. Build on what they already know. New information is much “stickier” and easier to retrieve when it’s linked to a client’s existing body of knowledge.

  6. Keep it simple. Limit your presentation to one or two things you want your clients to walk away with.

  7. Use humor and surprise. People remember things that make them laugh, that are different. In a world where everything is commoditized, they will remember that you delighted them.

 

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