Every entrepreneur has to give a business presentation at some point. Whether you’re trying to explain to your employees what your next steps are or you’re trying to lure investors to your business, creating a powerful business presentation is a must. After all, how can you expect them to get your message unless you nail your presentation?
However, creating a business presentation isn’t as straightforward as some people believe and you’re probably looking for some help to make yours more effective. With that said, here are six tips that are guaranteed to help.
Tell good stories
If you really want to get your audience engaged with your presentation, you can’t just go and start explaining stuff from the first minute. Well, you can but you’re risking boring your audience to death and making your presentation completely ineffective. Instead, you can try to develop a genuine connection with your audience and make them more interested in what you have to say. One of the best ways to do this is to tell stories.
Whether you talk about that one time you went shopping and came up with a product idea or something that happened to your friend at college, stories can make your look more trustworthy and interesting. In case you’re not convinced just yet, think of it this way – stats are known to activate two areas of the brain while stories can do stimulate up to seven. Even if you don’t think you’re good at telling stories, you can always practice it at home in front of a mirror. According to Forbes, every good leader tells great stories and improving your storytelling skills is recommended.
Keep it simple
Giving a presentation is one of the best ways to tell your audience everything you want to share about your business. However, overwhelming them with information is hardly going to do you any good. In fact, too many numbers and too much information can confuse your audience and make them lose interest in what you have to say. This is why when preparing for your presentation, it’s very important to come up with no more than a few points you want to cover. This means that your presentation doesn’t have to cover absolutely everything.
Decide on what you think your audience is supposed to know and remove everything else from your presentation. If necessary, you can always print handouts that include some additional info that might be important to them. Knowing your numbers is important but also it doesn’t mean everything you say and each of your PowerPoint slides needs to include statistics. Choose a few numbers that help you prove your point and stick to them.
Know your stuff
A big part of giving a good presentation is about being confident. If you don’t show your audience that you know what you’re doing, why should they even bother listening to you? Therefore, it’s critical that you know your stuff end double-check it before giving your presentation. Failing to remember your numbers or another company’s name during the presentation doesn’t only show that you’re unprofessional but it also indicates that you don’t care enough about your business. Still, it’s not enough to just learn everything by heart and present your information when the time comes.
Instead, you also need to know a thing or two about your stuff in order to be able to answer any questions you get. Just bear in mind that thinking for too long or showing that you don’t know the answer can have huge consequences for your business. The good news is that there’s nothing wrong about holding a piece of paper with notes in your hand or even taking a look at your smartphone a few times while giving your presentation.
Use tools to engage your audience
Let’s face it, presentations in which one person does all the talking and everybody else is just supposed to sit there and listen tend to get extremely boring. You may not care about what they think about your presentation skills but if you want them to receive your message, looking for ways to make the whole thing more interesting is a must. Luckily, the number of tools available to you is huge and making your presentation more creative shouldn’t be tough.
According to reports, there are more than 500 million PowerPoint users all over the world and for a reason. Put a lot of effort into designing every slide and you can expect your audience to engage more in your presentation. Even if you decide to use PowerPoint, getting a magnetic whiteboard is a perfect idea. It allows you to explain everything using visuals and ensure everyone is on the same page. You can also use it during the Q&A session at the end of your presentation. A laser pointer is another fun thing to use in order to create a more memorable experience.
Speak the language
Most business owners can’t stop themselves from using big words in their presentations because they think it makes them look smarter. Although there’s nothing wrong with this, you still have to do it right unless you want to leave people wondering what you said. If you decide to use some of industry-specific words or acronyms you don’t expect your audience to know, make sure you explain to them as you go. You can even include some of these words into your PowerPoint slides and be one hundred percent sure they get your message.
Even if you think you’re talking about something obvious, you’d be surprised how many executives there are who aren’t current with the latest technology and terminology. Just in case, always keep asking your audience if there are any questions and those who don’t understand the lingo will probably require some further explaining. Furthermore, you might also want to become familiar with some of the most effective phrases to use in presentations such as “This ties in with my original statement” or “This graph shows you.”
Think about your audience
Not every audience is the same. While you may not always know every member of your audience, trying to define their personality makes a lot of sense. There are always both introverts and extroverts in every audience and suiting to both of their likes is recommended. According to the Observer, up to 50 percent of the population are introverts, which means that having their personal preferences in mind is important. Include too many activities and workshops into your presentation and chances are they’ll find the entire experience to be too stressful.
Similarly, you can’t make the presentation all about you talking unless you want extroverts in your audience to get bored. It’s all about finding a perfect balance and letting every member of your audience create a personal experience they’re most comfortable with. Just like with most things in life, the key to success when giving a presentation is moderation.
Creating a powerful business presentation isn’t easy. Not only that you have to make your information accurate and find ways to send your message, but you also have to ensure everyone in your audience has a good time and can keep up with the presentation. The six tips covered in this post helped many entrepreneurs out there step up their presentation game and there’s doubt you’ll find them helpful as well.