The strength of a presentation can make or break your business. Here, leadership coach Margo Manning reveals seven important tips for making yours a killer business presentation.
(1) Be prepared
It is not just about knowing your subject from your perspective, but from every angle. A great business presentation should move beyond the basic functions or advantages your subject serves to your audience, and move further towards something that actually appeals to them.
Your audience want to be spoken to like humans. Deliver your business presentation with emotion, passion and, if appropriate, humour. That is a great way of breaking the ice and allowing everybody in the room to relax.
Not everything goes perfectly every time. You may lose your train of thought, or make a mistake. Move past it and keep going. Be prepared to laugh at yourself and do your best to be likeable.
(2) Be seen
If you’re nervous about presenting, it is easy to hide behind things and not even realise you are doing it.
Stand front and centre, without lecterns, tables or chairs separating you from your audience – this is a classic defence mechanism.
Anyone in the audience should be able to look at you and know that you are the star of the show.
Keep active, and don’t stand frozen on the spot. Equally, don’t be too animated, as either are obvious signs of nerves.
(3) Be heard
Make sure to practice your speaking beforehand, as it takes a fine balance. Do this in an environment similar to where you will give your business presentation, as the acoustics of a room can play a large part in the effect of your voice.
Ensure you can be heard clearly whilst not shouting, and keep a steady pace. Rushing through spoken word is a common symptom of being nervous. Let the passion and enthusiasm for your subject be communicated through your speech.
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(4) Be clear
When writing your business presentation, ensure that your message has a point and a call to action – an action that you would like your audience to carry out following the presentation.
Do you understand why your audience is attending the business presentation? Can you answer their questions? Can you hook them to do something with the information being received? Is the message being clearly delivered?
Is there is structure to what you’re delivering? Does the presentation you have put together meet the requirements you would like from it?
(5) Be believable
If your audience doesn’t feel that you’re genuine and speaking naturally from experience, then they are unlikely to engage with what you’re saying to them.
So, do your best to know your script well enough to be able to freestyle it, in order to give your business presentation as easy and natural a feeling as possible.
(6) Remember to breathe
Pace yourself and take your time. You’re not in a rush. If you must rush your content, you have too much of it. At most, focus on three main points, with one call to action.
These characteristics combine to make an engaging and informative business presentation that will deliver all the qualities you hope it to.
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