Benchmarks in Presentations: is This Good, Bad or Indifferent?

It's essential that you provide benchmarks in presentations when you are talking about the size, age, value or other attributes of a subject.

I have a friend who owns a temporary placement agency. In conversation, she told me she had x-number of temps placed with clients that day, and I had to ask her whether this number was good, bad or indifferent. That's because I know nothing about her business, so I have no benchmark.

A client told me recently that she had had a 70% response to a companywide survey she had conducted. Having spoken with other clients who were getting 30-40% response to similar surveys, I was able to congratulate her on her success. Until that point, she had been disappointed with her own response because she didn't how how poorly other companies had fared --- in other words, she had no benchmark.

So, how do you provide benchmarks in presentations? There are a number of techniques, of course, but the best way I've found is to compare the unknown to something already familiar to the audience. Here are some examples:

About the Author:

Helen Wilkie is a professional speaker, workshop leader and author specializing in communication. Call 416-966-5023 for information on her presentation skills workshops. Subscribe to Helen's no-cost monthly e-zine, "Communi-keys" and get your free 40-page e-book, "23 ideas you can use RIGHT NOW to communicate and succeed in your business career!"

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Presentation Skills, Statistics, Benchmarks, Benchmarks In Presentations