• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

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When talking about partners, avoid the dreaded “shaking hands” clipart

Two of the hoariest clichés used in PowerPoint presentations for analyst briefings are a slide full of partner logos or using clipart showing shaking hands as a sign of partnership.

The partner slide is an important component of many presentations made to IT industry analysts. Unfortunately, too many vendors use these clichés and miss the opportunity to communicate real information that supports key messages.

A better way to design the partner slide is to use text names instead of logos and organize the name listings in a way that adds information (see the second figure). The organization of the names should support the key strategic messages of the current briefing. A key message-centric slide is much richer than a logo-centric slide and more partners can be listed. In addition, by organizing the customer list by key message, this slide does double duty. If practical, additional information could be added such as how the partners complement each other’s offerings or a table for showing what each partner contributes.

Two critical reminders about briefing best practices: there should only be one to three key messages addressed in any single briefing. By keeping your briefing focused on a small number of key messages, it makes it easier to build a partner slide around key messages.  Secondly, reducing the font size to cram more information on a slide is not the way to focus your message.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Start with a blank bullet slide, do not copy an existing partner slide from another PPT deck
  • Type in the key messages for this briefing
  • Type in the relevant partners as sub-bullets under each key message
  • Identify key partnership success factors (e.g., investments each side is making) and put those into sidebars

Bottom Line: Vendors need to avoid the easy but clichéd partner slide approach of simply scattering customer logos around a slide. A better approach is to use text names organized in a fashion that supports the key messages of the analyst interaction.

Question: Analysts – What information would you like vendors to present when it comes to partners?

2 Responses

  1. One of the problems is that “partnerships” are cheap. I tend not to put a whole stock in the mere existence of a partnership. It gets more interesting when there starts to be accumulated evidence of meaningful sales or development initiatives that are a direct result of the partnership. Otherwise, it’s mostly “I love you, you love me, put your logo of my…” well, slide, but that doesn’t rhyme.

  2. Hi Gordon, Thanks for the comment.

    I completely agree. A future post will discuss what topics and proof points are needed to make a partnership discussion worthwhile.

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