Can you fully explain your company in one sentence?
Have you ever tried to start watching a movie after missing the first 20 minutes? You end up feeling completely lost for half the movie trying to figure out who the characters are or why they are important to the storyline. Presenters who don’t have a simple and clear introduction leave their audience with that same feeling.
The XYZ statement
Our approach to a good introduction is with a clear and concise vision statement. We call it the XYZ statement: we help X accomplish Y through Z. This statement may seem straightforward but it can be quite challenging to define.
X = Your customer
Y = What you help them do
Z = How you help them do it
Let’s take a look at the Venture Formations XYZ statement:
“We help executive leaders, brands & keynote speakers to captivate audiences with a clear message & a beautifully crafted presentation.”
X = Our customers are executive leaders, brands & keynote speakers
Y = We help our customers to captivate their audiences
Z = We help them achieve this through a clear message & a beautifully crafted presentation
We typically place this statement on the 2nd slide of a presentation right after the title slide. The XYZ statement is often confused with a slogan but there is a major difference. As catchy as your slogan may be, it often doesn’t really explain what you do.
Consider the following slogans:
- Coke: “Taste the Feeling”
- McDonald’s: “I’m lovin’ it”
- Nike: “Just do it”
These slogans make for great marketing, but they don’t explain to investors what you do. This is why an XYZ statement is crucial; it lets your audience immediately have a frame of reference for the information you’re about to give them and why it’s important.
Applying the concept
Let’s apply this concept to a company everyone knows, UBER. The company’s slogan is, “Everyone’s Private Driver.” This is a great slogan, and actually comes very close to an XYZ statement, but let’s apply the XYZ concept and see what we get.
Who is UBER’s customer?
They have decided that everyone is their customer, so lets stick with that.
What benefit does UBER provide?
They give everyone access to a private driver.
How does UBER provide this benefit?
Tap the app, get a ride.
The UBER XYZ statement:
We give everyone access to a private driver by tapping the app and getting a ride.
With this statement, you don’t need to have a background in tech or residential transportation to understand who UBER is and what they do.
Almost every industry, good or service can apply what they do in this statement. Before you start your next presentation, make sure you are setting the stage in your introduction. Try using an XYZ statement and giving the audience a frame of reference for the information they are about to receive.