An effective business presentation is more than a bunch of good-looking slides. While a visually appealing presentation is important, and you can hire a presentation agency to create one for you if you do not feel up to the task, the content of your presentation should be clear and compelling. In this article, you will find ten useful tips to help you deliver a business-winning presentation.
Learn your material inside and out
To convince others of the value of your ideas, you need to know them inside and out. Your audience will pick up on any hesitancy or doubt you may have about what you are communicating—that is why it is vital that you know your material like the back of your hand. Your presentation slides are there as a visual aid to your audience, do not make the mistake of reading off the slides. It may make you appear unsure of the point you are trying to make.
Show your passion
The way you speak really does matter. If you speak in an uninspiring, boring way, your audience will feel the same. You want your listeners to feel passionate about your message or they will disengage.
Capture your audience’s attention
A great way to instantly grab your audience’s attention is to start by asking a dramatic question, perhaps appealing to a problem in their industry that needs fixing. Appealing to your audience’s emotions will create a connection, which in turn will mean they will pay close attention to your presentation.
Tell a compelling story
Your audience needs to be able to follow your presentation. The best way to do this is to tell an engaging story that includes real-life examples that the audience can relate to. Your audience will find it easier to engage with your presentation if they find it relatable. Your slides may contain different topics, but they should all ultimately connect as part of an overall story.
Keep it concise
It may be tempting to fill your slides with vast amounts of information. While all this information is probably important, a slide full to the brim with text is off-putting to the audience. Unfortunately, your audience’s attention span only lasts so long, and slides full of text will cause them to lose concentration. If possible, try to keep your slides short and to the point. Include only the most vital, hard-hitting information to get your point across. Remember, your slides act as a visual aid rather than something for you to read word-for-word.
Interact with the audience
If you spend the entire presentation talking at your audience, you may find that they quickly lose interest. Instead, interact with them wherever appropriate. For example, if relevant, ask your audience questions. Questions including “have you ever felt like this?” or “hands up if you’ve encountered this problem” get the audience involved, meaning you will hold their attention for considerably longer.
Prepare for difficult questions
Depending on the nature of your presentation, you may face difficult questions at the end. For example, if you pitch to investors, they may probe you about risks to your product and service to get a feel for how you respond to challenges. It is best to prepare for difficult questions ahead of time. Devise a few difficult questions you think might come up and prepare concise, helpful answers.
Don’t underestimate the power of good design
Have you ever sat through a presentation where you are distracted by the terrible slide designs? Too much text, blurry images, dodgy transitions and inconsistent font will do nothing but distract your audience from your message. If you do not have the skills to create a visually appealing presentation, consider hiring a presentation design agency to do it for you. Presentation designers will work with you to create a bold and unique presentation that engages viewers.
Practice makes perfect. To ensure that your presentation goes smoothly, spend some time practising it. If you don’t want to practice it in front of others, try filming yourself presenting your slides. That way, you can critique your presenting style and make necessary changes to ensure your presentation goes off without a hitch. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Are you making eye contact with your audience?
- Are you spending too much time looking at your slides?
- Is the pace of your speech right? For example, are you speaking too quickly or too slowly?
- Do you appear confident? For example, do you have an open posture? Are you speaking clearly?
Create a Business-Winning Presentation
Creating a business-winning presentation may seem daunting at first. However, with the right help, attitude and preparation, you can create a presentation that keeps your audience engaged for its duration. With a well-designed, informative pitch presented naturally and confidently, you can win new clients or get that investment you have been seeking.