Friday, March 27, 2009

Wowing the clients

I had my first client presentation for Hennessy yesterday. It was classic.

Four guys from my office and I went. We walked. We started on one side of the Arc de Triomphe, entered a tunnel, and emerged five minutes later on the other side of the historic landmark. I love it.

There were two clients: one guy who was so straight, and so French (suit, tie, not one facial expression throughout the presentation), and a young woman who didn’t say anything the whole time but sat next to him and looked good.

I created the presentation in English, and I presented it in English. But I’m not sure why. I would say my bit, then turn to my (bilingual) colleague, and he would say his bit in French.

In all, it was probably a 15-20 minute presentation. Followed by a 60-minute conversation. All in French.

I sat there, doing my best to look engaged and agreeable (these days, my forehead hurts at the end of the day from scrunching it for hours on end in that oui, oui/I’m following you expression of complete comprehension). I could decipher the occasional word and understand certain points of the conversation but the truth was, it was pointless to try to follow and I was so exhausted from all of the bluffing, and I really just couldn’t stop staring out the window at the Eiffel Tower.


  1. Haha. The Eiffel Tower is a nice consolation prize though! If it's any consolation, I used to space out in client presentations all the time and we all spoke the same language.

  2. But I'm sure you never did that at BMW, Nellie!