Business Presentations: Top Tips for a Great Presentation
A good presentation is often the foundation of a successful meeting, pitch for business or team building day out. Therefore, it is important to finely hone your presentation skills in order to be at the top of your game. We’ve outlined what we think are five of the most useful presentation tips – some obvious, some less so – see what you think.
This might sound like a no-brainer, after all who’s going to want to listen to someone who’s dull and uninspiring? However, if you or someone in your business can bring genuine enthusiasm into the conference venues you use – then it’s almost half the battle won. Top level content and good visual accompaniment are also a requirement but it is crucial that whoever delivers a presentation is engaged with the topic in order to be able to engage the audience. As with everything in life there’s a balance to be struck, so we’re not saying that presenters should go over the top but a combination of knowledge and energy is fundamental in getting a presentation to work.
Prepare the room
Your choice of conference venue for a presentation is very important. Simple things such as ensuring there’s enough seating, refreshments are provided and all your technological equipment is working will prove invaluable. This will mean there are no awkward glitches and everything can run as you would like it to, which is crucial for the creation of a professional atmosphere. Another, somewhat subtle choice you can make is to set up the lighting in way that focuses attention on the presenter, while making sure the audience doesn’t feel the need to nod off during the presentation. Most projectors these days work well without having to completely darken the room – so it is easy enough to strike this balance.
Make effective visuals
No one wants to hear the phrase "death by PowerPoint" uttered in response to their presentation – but a slide show epic is a trap many presentations fall into. To avoid this, it is important to make sure a presentation has engaging visuals but that they should always be used as a supplement to the main attraction i.e. the presenter. Any images or graphs used should offer a good jumping off point for the speaker and they should be clear enough that if an audience member has a question, the point can be easily and simply demonstrated.
Be ready for testing questions
You’ll never be able to predict what type of questions might come up but make sure you aren’t going to get flustered if something awkward arises. Whether you have to deal with a heckler or an audience member has an axe to grind, it’s vital to maintain a professional persona throughout the presentation. This means you have to be very well versed in what you’re talking about but also ensure you come over as personable and if possible, humorous, as this is a good way of endearing yourself to the audience, while at the same time an effective way of diffusing potentially tricky situations. If you cannot answer a question, admit it as quickly and professionally as possible, then offer to find an answer once the presentation has finished.
Don’t expect to seal the deal
A presentation can be one of the most significant building blocks to the future success of your business. However, it is not the be all and end all of what you need to do. Make sure you have a strategy in place to keep in touch with attendees, often it can be effective to send a copy or even a video of the presentation to people in order to jog their memories and remind them of how good the event was.
If you follow these tips and stick to your strengths then you’ll certainly be able to deliver effective and engaging business presentations.