Business presentations are a very important and frequent part of doing business. A lot of the times, sales depend on a successful presentation. However, more often than not, they are maligned as boring. But that doesn’t have to be true: you can make your presentation informative and interesting for your audience. It’s not simple – people are easily distracted, but it’s possible not to bore your listeners to death.
Here are a few rules to follow for a good presentation.
Keep it Concise
There’s nothing worse than a long ramble with a lot of extraneous information. Stick to your key points, illustrated with an interesting example or two. Your audience is unlikely to be interested in too much background. Instead, focus on their perspective. How does your data pertain to them? What use can they have, and what problems of theirs can you solve? Your presentation should have a clear purpose, and it’s your goal to achieve that purpose. Everything that doesn’t serve that goal directly can be cut. Tailor your presentation for your audience – are they knowledgeable about the field and comfortable with the terminology. A lot of the times, if you misjudge the level at which you should speak, you will miss the target completely.
Bust Out the Unexpected
The unexpected is what grips the imagination. It can be a particularly surprising statistic, or a fascinating example. Some speakers choose to use interesting props and other visual aids. Whatever it is, if it can wake your audience up and draw their attention, then use it. In general, presentations that sell an idea, do much better than the extremely pragmatic ones. People are tired of products, but they still want certain values. If you can turn your presentation into an interesting story that will appeal to their value system and somehow connect your product to their life, you have a much higher chance of winning them over.
Mind Your PowerPoint
PowerPoint is at the heart of every presentation, but that doesn’t mean that they all need to look exactly the same. A professional PowerPoint presentation can make all the difference. Everything matters: the font, the pictures, the layout. Instead of spelling out every single detail, your presentation should contain key points, that will drive home the point you are trying to convey. The font should be large and easy to read – novelty fonts might seem unprofessional and should be avoided. The color scheme should be eye-catching but pleasant. The point is, the PowerPoint is there to back you. That means you are the main show, and the slides are just a supporting act.
Rehearse to Perfection
Don’t just prepare your presentation and then think that you’ve done everything that you can. You need to rehearse your delivery until you have ironed out every single glitch. If you are feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable in your delivery, people will feel it and they will tune out. Confidence comes from feeling secure – and you will feel secure if you know your material inside and out. Weed out beginners mistakes such as speaking in monotone, going too fast or too slow or flubbing your slides. It’s always a good idea to add a bit of flair. There’s no need to overdo it, but a touch of the theatrical and a joke or two are sure to help you keep your audience’s attention. Be authentic and true to yourself – you will be much more likely to forge a connection with your audience.
With just a bit of effort and thought, you can create a powerful presentation that will help you close the deal, instead of boring your audience to tears.