A powerful and formidable business presentation can win over clients, get you a promotion, increase sales or even bring significant change within an organization for the better. For that reason, business presentations require more than just great preparation as the execution also needs to be motivating, exciting, and even moving. Here are a few expert tips for you to master your existing public speaking skills and to give great business presentations.
1. Master the Material
No matter how well-dressed you are or how amazing of a public speaker, if you do not have a solid grasp on your background material, talking points, and the purpose of the presentation, you will not be convincing to anyone, not least the experts of that field or managers. Do as much research prior to the presentation date as possible even of points that may not be directly relevant as you could always be asked to address them in a question and answer session. In some ways, the material you curate for the presentation is also a test of how good you are at your job and how much knowledge you have regarding your line of work. Be sure to add in creative touches of personal innovation and expertise to make yourself shine in front of your superiors.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Whether your task is writing, choosing knowledge, or presenting (or indeed all three), knowing your target audience is very important. Knowing the people you are aiming to impress or to present your ideas to can help you choose the material, multimedia elements and even tailor your approach. If you were presenting to a CEO and not just your manager you would need to alter the content accordingly, and the same goes if you were trying to get a point across to your colleagues who have similar jobs and expertise.
3. Prepare & Be Organized
Most of us have great stories, presentations, and ideas in our heads. The trick is to convey them in an understandable fashion and to do it in an organized way that helps the listener keep track of the timeline and the progression of ideas. The way you format the presentation will also help with this, be sure to use lots of bullet points, videos or pictures to illustrate a point and bar charts or other statistical diagrams to show numbers, percentages, and forecasts. Before the presentation do a full rehearsal from start to finish and always have a backup file available to you at a moment’s notice in case a USB fails or there is a file corruption incident in your laptop.
4. Be Passionate & Use Narratives
No one wants a monotonous and boring presentation that tells them the information they already know. Go the extra mile to find out lesser-known statistics or angles, and use your analytical and critical skills to the fullest. Furthermore, employ your passionate side to show why you care deeply about a project, strategy, or new concept. Weave an interesting narrative around your points to help listeners stay engaged and invested. You are far more likely to get through to them this way. If you have a range of concepts to cover in your business presentation then decide on a core concept and use most of your time addressing that and then going to your secondary concepts.
5. Dress For The Part
While you could theoretically wear casual trousers to a business presentation, there is plenty of research to suggest that there are more chances of a successful presentation if the presenter is wearing formal or appropriate work clothing. Wear one of your nicer suits or outfits and take special care with appearance, hairstyle, and accessories. You don’t want to overdo the effect but you should still look polished, clean, and professional.
6. Employ Confidence And A Sure Pace
Nothing confuses listeners more than insecurity, garbled words, or very fast speech. Speak your words semi-slowly, clearly, and confidently and use a straight posture. Never slump or show a lack of confidence, wherever possible make eye contact with your audience and use your hands to illustrate certain points. If you have used PowerPoint templates to make slides, you can use a laser pointer to indicate which point you are currently talking about so that the audience can keep up. Consider giving people paper handouts to refer to certain information or adopt an even pace to avoid confusion. Remember that confidence also partially arises from adequate practice and professionalism but self-belief is a brilliant skill to have too.