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The ‘PowerPoint’ partnership business case – how to really make it work for you

Recently I have seen a trend where firms, in particular the Big 4, are asking their potential partners to write and submit their business case for partnership using PowerPoint. Presenting a business case on a slide deck forces you to be succinct. Some people really struggle with this format.  In this blog post, based on an extract from my new book ‘Poised for partnership‘ I will share some tips, which have helped our clients be successful, to use this type of format to write and ‘sell’ your business case for partnership.

1. It is not about the detail. In fact the detail can damage your impact

It can be tempting when faced with a PowerPoint slide to make the writing really small to get all the detail in that you think will help. This is a massive trap, and one which can dilute the power of your business case. One of the reasons firms are asking their candidates for partnership to use a PowerPoint slide deck is they want to stop people overloading them with highly detailed and long ‘War and Peace’ style business cases.

The key to making the format work for you, is to be absolutely clear about the essential messages you want to emphasise throughout the slide deck. Then make sure that everything you put on the slides reinforces those key points. If you need help building or writing your business case then download our free guide to building a cast-iron business case for partnership.

2. Your business case is not your CV

You’ve had a great career to-date. Therefore, it is entirely understandable that you want to share as much of the great stuff as possible. However, your business case is not your CV. Who cares whether you went through your firm’s elite leadership programme? What matters is very simply, can you convince your partnership that you are a  great addition to the partnership? That you will:

  • Bring in profitable work for your department and others in the firm
  • Build a sustainable client portfolio and leave a positive legacy for the firm
  • Develop a strong pipeline of talent beneath you
  • Be a good fit culturally for the partnership and complement the existing partners in the firm; and
  • Are in it for the long term and are committed to the long term goals and vision of the firm

3. Quantify your claims

Anyone can write a good business case where they promise they will achieve the earth. Additionally, anyone can also claim to be:

  • Leading
  • Experienced
  • Great at developing business
  • Excellent team leader

But, where is the evidence to back up these claims? Any claim which you make in your business case about your prowess needs to be backed up by proven and quantifiable evidence. Before you submit your business case look through it and eliminate any unsubstantiated claims.

4. Storyboard your business case

I’ve talked in this post about the importance of your story. However, when you are confined to an, often standard, slide deck template, your story becomes very important. If you were to take your partners through a story to tell them about the opportunity they will gain if they promote you to partner, what would you want to tell them? Now reduce that down to only 3 things. You may hesitate about reducing it down to three things. After all you have so much good stuff that you want to tell your partners. I promise you that if you get crystal clear about the few things which answer the ‘why should you promote me to partner’, your business case will get stronger as a consequence.

guide to creating business case copy 200pxTake the stress our of creating your business case for partnership, by downloading our free guide to building a cast-iron business case for partnership.

In summary:

Regardless of whether you are forced to use a PowerPoint template for your business case, reducing the ‘padding’ until you focus on the key messages is vital for your success.

Poised special offer smallIf this blog post has been valuable for you then get the full low down on how to successfully make it through partnership track by buying a copy of my new book, Poised for partnership. Click on the link to take advantage of a 50% discount on the cost of the book.


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