Steve Patterson’s Transformative Talk: The Power of Pause and Precision - Taranis

Steve Patterson’s Transformative Talk: The Power of Pause and Precision

July 10, 2024

Enhancing Communication Skills in Agribusiness

Energetic. Insightful. Excited. Standalone sentences that capture the presentation Steve Patterson delivered at the Taranis 2025 Sales Kickoff in Westfield, Indiana. 

Steve focused on communication skills, personality types and the transformative future of Taranis in agriculture. Leveraging his more than 39 years of experience in the industry, including his long tenure with Southern States, Patterson shared valuable lessons and techniques to help the Taranis team improve their sales and communication abilities.

“Taranis is delivering leaf-level insights at a level never seen before. That’s a dramatic pause. That’s a big deal – a first time in history, and a great opportunity to break the ice with a prospective customer,” he told attendees. “What Taranis is doing has not ever been done before.” 

Comparing the impact of Taranis to the advent of precision agriculture, which he helped introduce earlier in his career, Patterson offered, “I believe Taranis is the BIGGEST thing that’s come along since precision agriculture. This is what agriculture’s been waiting for. A view from the sky of what the problems are, so better decisions can be made.”

Communication is King 

“It doesn’t matter how great a technology is if the value can’t be communicated,” he said. “We have to get customers excited, and to do that we have to share what we know is the value of Taranis.” 

Patterson presented the “value formula” and explained that the equation is a simple introduction to Taranis’ service: “It’s the sum total of cost divided by the benefit, and those benefits aren’t always tangible. How much is more time with your family worth? That’s really the trigger for all of this. Taranis has so many value opportunities beyond delivering high-resolution imagery and crop intelligence. Focus on what matters in agriculture.” 

Knowing and understanding the characteristics of different personalities is paramount in sales and, rightfully, a large portion of Patterson’s Kickoff presentation. 

Beginning by introducing a simple quadrant model, Patterson asked the audience to characterize themselves as either advocating, controlling, analytical, or facilitating. After the results were tallied and answers were shared, he emphasized the importance of being a chameleon in a sales environment. 

“It’s not about you,” he shared. “You have to adjust your approach to conversation, to asking important questions, even how you talk about Taranis, based on a customer’s personality type.” 

When You Speak, You Lead

“When you speak, you lead, so when you’re in front of a group of people, you’re the leader of that room,” Patterson told the group. 

He explained the caveats of public speaking and what each can do for a presentation, including what he calls the “power of the pause” to both capture attention and garner intrigue. 

“There are two types of pauses: reflective and dramatic, and both will catch the attention of your audience. A reflective pause gives your audience time to think about what you have just shared, to really take it in and soak it up. A dramatic pause will help you drive home a critical piece of information. Both are crucial because a pause will allow your audience to catch up with you,” he shared. 

Patterson also stressed the need for continuous improvement and practice in communication skills, introducing the “rule of three” for organizing presentations and the “seven times rule” for reinforcing key messages, and adding that for every one-hour presentation you’re going to give, you should practice for 20 hours.

“We need to be on every stage possible going forward because what we are providing the agriculture industry will change lives. It will make lives better and create a level of decision-making we’ve never seen before in agriculture,” he said. “But we have to know what we’re talking about, when to talk about it and, most importantly, how to talk about it.” 



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