Signposts are a powerful tool when building better business. Using them effectively is a delicate craft. Put your sign up too early, or in the wrong place, and the deal never happens, too late and it falls apart. The right, well designed signpost at the right time clears away uncertainty and builds trust. Put too much information on your signs or use the wrong tone, and there’ll be heads shaking instead of hands.

Why Use Signposts?

Signposts are like chapters of a story, and who doesn’t love a good story? By placing signposts at the right intervals, you keep the audience engaged. Signposts help reinforce your message and emphasise the main points of your presentation. Just as road signs guide you to your destination, signposts in business should guide audiences to the conclusion that they trust you to solve the challenges they have, and support them grabbing the opportunities they see.

Signposts Provide Security

Whether you’re driving to a new city or listening to a presentation for the first time, there’s an element of uncertainty. That keeps us on guard. When you present a business proposal, you want your audience to have confidence in your idea, to know with certainty that signing a contract with you will bring them good fortune. You need to provide the signs that confirm your main points, present supportive visuals, invite clarifying questions, and reinforce your selling points. When you establish yourself firmly as an expert, your audience will be more likely to relax, trust in your judgment, and join your team.

Attention Is Hard to Keep; Easy to Lose

We’ve all had that one person we know that drones on and on. There were no transitions between topics or breaks to ask questions. After a while, the words started to blend together and lose meaning. Our attention is lost. In business, a boring presentation is a failed one. Keep your audience engaged with impactful quotes, colourful visuals, clever metaphors, and anything you can think of to make your presentation more digestible and interesting. Change the energy, remind them of where you are, and then lift the mood by signposting where you could be. While it’s best to keep presentations short and sweet, signposts can keep longer ones going strong.

Make It Funny and Relatable

Business is more than deals, briefcases, and office jargon. It’s about people. People need to relate to one other, they want to feel appreciated, and even have a raucous laugh now and then. No matter how compelling your product or service, you won’t get clients without trust. Anecdotes, jokes, and amusing, relevant, videos all make you more approachable and trustworthy. You might praise an employee’s work or shout out a friend or family member who inspired you. Self-deprecating jokes often win the audience over, yet take care to use that approach sparingly. Get the audience involved. All of these signs help create a positive atmosphere and establish you as someone not just that they can, but that they will, trust.

End Well

Remind people of the journey they have taken, and the final destination they are heading towards. Then the last and most important sign you want to place is the call to action. Be clear, so that you make the action that is needed obvious and easy.

When you plan and place well designed, appropriate signs with confidence, you’ll be on your way to building better business. If you want an assessment of your progress, check out the free business audit.

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Written by: William Buist - all rights reserved.
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