In business it is personal

Its not business… It is Personal!

Someone like Gordon Gecko might say “Its not personal… Its business!”. But, for most of us business is personal. Before anybody will do any business with your organisation they need to like, know, and trust the person representing the business.

For a sales presentation scenario this means that the client needs to feel that the person delivering the pitch warrants trust. For the person delivering the presentation this means that the opening part of the presentation needs to be dedicated to getting the attention of the audience AND establishing a rapport with the key members of the audience.


To build rapport through the presentation there are several things that you can do…

Meet and Greet Before you commence

Before your presentation starts you have two choices. You can lock yourself away in the corner of the room and rehearse your opening lines and make last minute adjustments to the slide deck you are about to present. Or, you can greet audience members as they walk into the room. One leads to failure… The other increases your chances of success.


By taking the time to meet and greet audience members as they walk in the room you start establishing a bond with them. It demonstrates that you have an inner-confidence and assurance. And, in the event that you’re nervous – it helps calm the butterflies!


Make Eye Contact

The simple act of making eye contact demonstrates trustworthiness in the minds of your audience. In western cultures we associate eye contact with trust and authenticity. If you fail to make eye contact your audience will not be able to establish a trust or connection with you…


Speak their language

It sounds obvious, but so many presenters fail to speak the language of their audience. Throughout your presentation you need to demonstrate you understand their challenges and the situation they find themselves in. If you can talk with them, using their terminology and their phrasing it subconsciously highlights to your audience that you “get them”. A sales person who uses language that is not part of the industry and company “phrasing” highlights that they have a predefined solution that may or may not be suitable for the customer. Which presentation are they going to trust more?



We are all drawn to someone who smiles. A simple smile changes our tone of voice, and brightens our entire expression. You will look like a person whom other people want to be around. This applies to any area of life, but especially to presentations. Audiences will want to listen and hear what you have to say if you look like you’re enjoying yourself and a pleasure to be in a room with.


Establishing and maintaining rapport is critical throughout the sales process – and especially so through the sales pitch. All the hard work and effort can be undone in a short space of time if your sales presentation doesn’t build upon the work that led up to that point. Don’t waste your efforts. Makes sure you remember at all times that when its business – it is personal!


Thanks to the movie Wall Street for the Gordon Gekko image
About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.