Lessons Learned from Downton Abbey: How to Present Your Way to Success

Recently I was catching up on the final season of Downton Abbey when it hit me. One of the reasons I, and millions of others around the world, love this show is the dedication to presentation. Dinner is an event, complete with formal attire, real linens and fine china. When the meal is ready, the family is called into the dining room, where an impressive scene awaits. It’s a far cry from throwing a frozen meal into the microwave, isn’t it?

Presentation is crucial in business too, yet it’s often overlooked. How is your product packaged? How are your giveaways and prizes displayed at a tradeshow, meeting or other event? Paying attention to how you’re presenting yourself to clients, employees and the world can make a big difference.

For example, imagine this scenario: You receive a package from a client during the Holidays. Upon opening it, you find a glossy black box tied with a satin white ribbon. Impressive! Inside the box are three delicious Maple Ridge Farms treats, specifically Double Chocolate, Chocolate Pecan and Chocolate Butterscotch Coconut brownies. While the brownies are as incredible as they sound, what really stands out to you is the presentation involved in this mailing.

Would you have been nearly as impressed if three brownies had been thrown in a padded envelope and smashed en route to you? No (even though you would have still eaten them). You would not have taken a picture, uploaded it to your business’ Facebook page, tweeted about your impressive (and scrumptious) delivery and told numerous people, including potential customers, about it. While you would have been grateful to your client, you wouldn’t have been nearly as impressed.  

So how will presentation help your business?  

  • Catch the attention of your audience
  • Increase the value of your product or service to buyers  
  • Strengthen relationships with customers, prospects & employees
  • Create a positive, lasting image of your company or brand

While presentation does directly affect your bottom line, it doesn’t make up for a bad product, poor service or a dishonest company. However, it will enhance your product or service in the eyes of your audience and help your brand stand out in a sea of competition. Even Lord Grantham, the ill-suited ruler of the Downtown estate, would be happy with that.

How do you present your products or services to enhance their value?

Who’s your favorite Downton Abbey character?

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One Response to “Lessons Learned from Downton Abbey: How to Present Your Way to Success”

  1. […] your guests with a beautifully set table to create the tone for your event. (Presentation matters in business, right?) A tablecloth (or runner & placements), cloth napkins, china […]

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