Top 10 Tips for Business Presentations

Top 10 Tips for Business Presentations

1. Know your audience:
It is naturally the starting point for all successful presentations. The more you understand your audience, their expectations and their emotions, the more you can ‘connect’ with them. Then the issues you will raise, the examples you will provide will ring a bell. Your presentation will be focused and relevant for them.

2. Tell them a story:
It’s always better to share a story because it connects with your audience than throwing cold data on them. “8000 people died in an earthquake” is cold data but if you narrate a story about Manju, who is suddenly left homeless, after losing her two children and husband in the earthquake, it makes more impact about the event and your audience gets impacted at a much deeper level.

3. Use Visuals:
There are various researches which are conducted regarding visual impact and these researches prove that the audience can recall your message 65% better, if visuals are added next to your text. Therefore, use high quality photos and videos wherever necessary to support your text.

4. Convey one idea per slide:
Too much information on one slide can confuse your audience. Segregate your ideas into individual messages and try to deliver one message per slide. In this manner, the audience will have more time and opportunity to engage with your message and will be persuaded.

5. Remove visual clutter:
Keep just the essential elements which are required to support your core message on the slide. And remove the rest which is not required or you feel overloaded. The less noise you have on your slide, the more your message is amplified.

6. Keep it simple:
Usually whenever you make high stakes presentations, you try to show off because it is a natural human tendency – to sound ‘competent’. And in this race sometimes our message that we want to convey is lost. So have the confidence and courage to keep things simple. Try to help your audience in understanding, speak to their level and knowledge. And then you will connect with them much better. 

7. Avoid Death by PowerPoint:
Having ‘No slides’ is sometimes the best slide. Practice to present without slides whenever you can. Show what you are, your personality. Try to avoid the slide deck and face your audience. You will earn a lot of respect from your audience for it.

8. Invest in your skills:
Have you ever observed how simple the Steve Jobs slides were? Have you observed the intelligent use of visuals when Nancy Duarte present? And have you observed how Garr Reynolds connects with his audience in his TED? Watch them, observe them and pick up the threads and come up with your own unique style that sets you apart.

9. Anticipate objections:
Record yourself presenting your slides and play your recording. When you become your own audience advocate, you can predict rational objections, questions which can come up to you in actual presentation. Note down your points and find out verifiable proofs to address each of those objections. In this manner, you can have slides ready in case your audience raises those points during the presentation.

10. Provide a clear call to action:
Never fail to spell out the next steps. Articulate clear, realistic call to action steps once you finish making your presentation. If you do not tell your audience what they are expected to do next, your presentation will be forgotten quickly.

If your audience moves to the next step, that will be the success of your presentation.