Are you going to conduct a business presentation? Do you worry? Relax, take a deep breath, we are here to help you out.
In fact, it’s not easy to prepare a successful presentation. The survey results carried out by Shufflrr software company among 1,500 U.S.-based professionals are disappointing. They studied people’s behavior during business presentations.
One person in 25 left the presentation because it was too long. 25% percent of people were so bored that they had fallen asleep, can you believe that? One person out of every 12 people had been absolutely unengaged by a business presentation and started browsing a dating app.
A poor presentation is a waste of businesses time, money and opportunities. It’s a failure for entrepreneurs and small business owners who put their hopes on presentations to secure new investments or land big client accounts.
A strong presentation, on the contrary, helps a business beat the competition, find new clients and make impression on industry leaders.
Would you like to know what differentiates strong and weak presentations? Please read the tips below.
1. Think strategically
First of all, it is recommended to think about your presentation not like about a set of separate slides, but take it as a part of your overall marketing campaign. In other words, you should think strategically when preparing a presentation.
Don't concentrate on action that will take place while you are speaking. You need to know what you want to happen afterward, so structure your presentation around that idea.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What do you want people to remember when you’ll finish the presentation?
What do you want them to do next after the presentation?
How can you win audience's trust?
The last question is utterly important because face-to-face interaction during the presentation often makes a deeper impression than any other form of communication.
If you fail during the presentation, all of your other marketing efforts are going to suffer the same fate. If you don't win audience’s trust, all the rest they read or saw won’t make a big deal for them.
However, when you are thinking strategically, you create a presentation that supports the rest of your marketing efforts and resonates with your audience.
2. About your material
It’s really awful if you don’t know the text of your presentation and learn its contents as you speak.
You must know the content. If you don’t speak freely, confidently, and conversationally, people will think you lack expertise.
If you are not able to demonstrate the expertise, your audience just won’t be interested and, of course, won’t trust your business.
Preparing for your presentation is the key to success. Knowing the material you will engage your audience. It doesn’t matter who you are speaking to or what is the topic of your speech.
We don’t mean that you must remember the script. But you must clearly understand what you are trying to communicate and why. The info includes:
The information you are planning to cover, including statistical data
The consistency of the material
Any kinds of questions your audience may ask
You must know your content so that you could carry the presentation on without any gadgets or visual aids prepared beforehand. Think of how to explain each slide to a person if you are one-on-one in the elevator without a slide. You should know the answer to that question for every single bit of your presentation.
3. Grab attention
The very first few moments of a presentation are crucial. This is exactly when you need to manage to capture your audience's attention and persuade them that the info that follows is worth their time.
There is a trick we would like to share with you. Start your presentation with a brief story, joke, or anecdote about your business, then relate that story/joke/anecdote back to your audience.
Use something that sparks curiosity. Try to make them imagine something like the dripping of a leaky pipe or the sick feeling in your stomach when you lose your wallet… This will instantly help your audience grasp what you are talking about.
Still not sure where to start? Google "surprising statistics" and the name of your industry. You'll definitely find something useful.
4. Speak straightforward
Well, supposing your audience is all ears. It can be daunting to speak persuasively and confidently, especially if you don’t feel at ease when speaking in public.
You can master your disturbance, just pick one person in the audience and speak to him/her. Don’t choose the person who makes you worry the most. It’s better to pick a friendly face in the crowd and speak to them. If you will do the above, everyone will hear that same confident message.
Speak as if you are talking to a friend and your presentation will sound natural, be conversational and candid. It won’t seem memorized and rehearsed.
Sounding conversational when you deliver a well-prepared presentation is really cool. It’s also great not to read what's written on your slides but visualize them instead. You should be able to talk about each slide and these words should be memorized by the audience.
If you suddenly become nervous and want to hide away, try to remember that you are just telling a story. Presentations are nothing more than corporate storytelling. We are sure you can tell the story of your company and illustrate it with visual slides.
So, we wish you best of luck with your presentations. Hope our tips were helpful. Have any questions/insights on the topic? Want to share your personal experience? Your feedback is welcome in the comments!