If you’ve ever had the chance to present in front of a board, then I’m sure you can relate when I say-preparation is the key ingredient. That comes without question. Business presentations could potentially make or break your whole career. That is why it’s always a smart idea to get a handle of your presentation strategy. If you don’t know where to start, then don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place. But first,
What is a business presentation?
A business presentation can be defined as formal information about a product in the business or services. Typically, it is carried out using visual and audio presentation materials for instance projectors, statistical documents and whiteboards among others.
Whether you’re presenting to your prospective investors or simply having a simple presentation in the office, a business presentation needs to be engaging. Otherwise, there is a possibility that someone might doze off during your presentation. So, how do you make it more ‘entertaining’? Well, here are 10 tips to get you started.
Before we tackle the ten tips, let me share with you a series of posts that you might find insightful in your quest to deliver powerful and engaging business presentations:
10 Tips for more engaging business presentations
1. Use Key Phrases
When it comes to presentation, you only need to include essential information and use key phrases to drive the point home. That said, choose the top three or two points in your topic then use them throughout the presentation.
That also means you should simply and limit the number of words on the board. More importantly, try to less than three bullets per slide (up to 5). The space that will surround your words will make it even easier for the audience to read and interpret your information.
2. Use slides to convey the information
Make sure the slides are easy to follow through. Additionally, you should have clean slide layouts. Always put the title on top of the slide which is the most logical place to put a title. Additionally, keep important information at the top of the slide.
3. Reduce the Punctuation while avoiding all caps
When you concentrate a lot on punctuation, it will needlessly clutter the slides. Also, the use of all caps statements will most definitely make it more difficult to read. The current generation actually views, ‘all caps’ as someone shouting the information out loud. So, it’s unprofessional and it’s best to avoid it.
4. Use slide designs
When designing the slides, ensure you use slides that are appropriate for your audience. A clean and straight forward slide is always the best option for all types of audiences. This type of slide is best especially if you are not sure of the audience and their preferred tastes.
5. Stay away from fancy fonts
This is another unprofessional and amateur move that you don’t want to pull off. Always go for a simple font that’s easy to read such as New Times Roman or Arial. Also, at most, only use two different fonts for perhaps the heading and the content. But I’d prefer it if you go for one common font and only change the size of the title from the rest of the content. Use a font size that would be easy to see from the back of the room.
6. Don’t use too many slides
Keep the number of slides to a minimum so that the presentation doesn’t take too long. In most cases, when the presentation is too long, you will most likely repeat yourself at some point and it will be boring. This will also help you avoid changing the slides too often. At least take a minute for a slide.
7. Use Charts, Photos and Graphs
If you are doing a business presentation, it’s always good to incorporate charts, graphs and if necessary pictures. This will help spice up your presentation. It will also ensure the audience is interested in your findings.
8. Don’t use transitions
As much as animations and transitions might heighten the interest of your audience, too many of them will likely distract them from what you are trying to say. Remember that this is a business presentation and the slides are just a visual representation of your content-not a show of your PowerPoint prowess.
9. Use contrasting colors for the text and background
If you are using dark texts, then ensure you have white backgrounds. Tone down the use of different colors in your business presentation. That means your work should have some consistency and not turn out to be a color show.
10. The Presentation and Content should be compatible
Lastly, make sure the content you are about to present matches the ideas you have. Imagine heading down to a business presentation and the slides you have are not the same as what you are about to present. Always carry a flash drive that has the backup to your presentation just in case it gets lost in the process.
How to start a business presentation
Here’s the catch, when you start your business presentation, you have about 60 seconds to capture or lose the attention of your audience. If you waste these precious moments with an agenda, a joke, housekeeping details, apology, or even rambling with littered words, then the minds of your audience will drift. That makes it harder to convince them that your business presentation is worth their time.
Related Article: How to Start Your Speech with a BANG?
This goes without saying, the key to the ultimate business presentation is to rehearse and develop an attention-getting opener. Start by telling a captivating story. Storytelling is the best starter toolkit. That’s not all!
- Use rhetorical questions that force your audience to think critically.
- State a shocking headline or something that is from a current event
- Use creative visual aids
- Play a short story video that will easily capture the audience
- And, also a powerful relatable quote can go a long way to capture their attention
Use any of the above starters and you will surely take your audience by surprise. But remember, don’t use all of the above ideas at once presentation. The intro will end up taking too long which will be boring. Only utilize a maximum of two and preferably just one will suffice.
Importance of Business Presentations
As long as you are in business, presentations are something that you cannot avoid. Most of the organizations and companies use these business presentations as a platform to sell their products or ideas, for the purposes of training, and at times to motivate their audience.
A presentation could carry a lot that you hadn’t foreseen. Therefore, it is important for the presenter to prepare and rehearse until they have the confidence to make the presentations. That said, here are the importance of business presentations.
1. Inform employees about new products
Business presentations in most cases are meant to inform the employees about the new products or services in the organization. In some cases, the product managers may share details about the flavors, fragrances, dimensions, features, and sizes of the new products.
The employees may also learn information regarding the manufacturing process of the products, the benefits the buyers will acquire from the products as well as the way in which the products will meet the needs of the buyers.
2. Information about the customers
In business presentations, the marketing research manager may share the details of the customers. When we talk about customer information, this means how satisfied they are with the products you are selling, in case they are any additional features they would like as well as how the customers rate the products provided by your company against the ones provided by your competitors. Such customer information is also ideal in making marketing programs and promotions.
3. Information about the market and competitive strategies
The business presentations are also focused on informing the managers and executives about the informative and market strategies. This could be a description of how well the sales are doing in the industry.
In that, in some markets, the sales may be trending upwards while in others, the sales might be trending downwards. Information about the markets that are doing well helps the company management to come up with marketing strategies that are suitable for each market individually.
4. Information about the company’s performance
Business presentations are of high importance as they provide the best channel for the executive members to share details that concern the general performance of the company. This performance information may include details on the profits and sales the company has made, earning and maker share of the company.
By presenting such information, the managers are able to come up with strategies that will improve and make the sales better if they appear below the expectations that the company had.
The Different Types of Business Presentations
1. Informative presentations
Informative business presentations are normally just informative in nature. when you are preparing for an informative type of presentations there are a couple of factors that don’t matter like the logic order, time, place and effect. This kind of presentation is used to share certain basic information.
2. Instructional presentations
Instructional business presentations are aimed at giving orders or even specific instructions about certain things. Such presentations tend to be longer as they have to thoroughly cover the topic in discussion. The main aim of instructional business presentations is equipping the listeners with a new skill or new knowledge.
3. Persuasive presentations
Persuasive business presentations are aimed at convincing the listeners to accept a certain proposal. Persuasive business proposals are very vital in every business. Some of the common examples of persuasive business proposals are proposals of a project, solving of certain controversies, provision of suggestive measures and disputes.
4. Arousing presentations
These business presentations are not very common, especially in the business world. However, these talks are normally given in order to make people think about a certain situation or a problem. All in all, such a presentation could also be used to motivate the employees in times of need while at the same time bringing the business mood in the house.
5. Decision-making presentations
This is a very interesting business presentation that involves high interaction where the presenter conveys an idea to a group that works on the idea towards a given conclusion. This is a presentation that is done when there is a need to make a decision regarding certain issues in the organization that require to be finalized.
Take Away: What is the Importance of Presentation Skills in Business Communication?
Presentations are more or less something that’s new in interactive communication. But now, speeches and presentations form an integral part of any business relationship and interaction. More importantly, the ability to make good and quality speeches add value to a professional or anyone in the business world.
Speeches and presentations can be used interchangeably to pass the same information. The main objective of a business presentation is to present all the relevant information to the business partners or members on a specific topic and enhance their understanding of the same. More importantly, business presentations help in amplification, simplification, reiteration and analysis. Other importance of presentation skills in business communication includes:
1. Master your Public Speaking Skills
At some point in your career journey, you will have to report or present to your audience whether formal or even informal. Above all, it is always better to be prepared before the D-day. Always seek out opportunities to do public speaking since it will likely help sharpen your skills and confidence.
2. First Impression
In any business venture, making a good first impression is always at the top of any entrepreneur. This will dictate the success or failure of your business. Presentations are usually a good way to create a good first impression on your prospective employers or even investors. More to that, you only have one shot to make it right.
3. Shows the level of your confidence
When it comes to business presentations, confidence is a very important skill that helps to open up new opportunities. When you have great presentation skills. You will be able to take your business on a whole new level even if you are an introvert. The main thing here is just to convey your message in a convincing manner.
4. Ensures you convey your message without misinformation
Great presentation skills are important when making business presentations as they minimize the chances of misinformation or misunderstanding. These skills will ensure that you convey your message well and everyone will leave the room feeling well informed.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING
Michel Teriault. 9 Tips for More Powerful Business Presentations. FORBES. https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2013/11/04/9-tips-for-more-powerful-business-presentations/#243064308904
Miranda Marquit. 5 TIPS FOR CREATING A GREAT BUSINESS PRESENTATION