When it comes to having a persuasive and convincing business presentation, it goes way beyond just having a bunch of colorful slides.
So, whether your business presentation is for prospective clients or board members of an organization, what matters most is ensuring that your presentation is impressive and convincing.
In this article, we shall be guiding you through a handful of 21 expert tips to help you ace your business presentation with a persuasive speech that is sure to convert your audience.
But before we start, we need to understand this concept;
What is a Business Presentation?
A business presentation is a piece of formal information that is presented in front of stakeholders, business owners, members of the board, or investors in order to showcase a potential business opportunity, challenge, risk, or innovation with facts, data points, and analytical reasoning.
Business presentation is usually carried out with the aid of some presentation tools. Such tools include projectors, statistical documents, flip charts, video, audio presentation materials, etc.
Interestingly, the ultimate goal of a business presentation is to capture and sustain your audience’s interest while passing your ideas across to them.
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The question is, ‘How do you structure a business presentation to get the best result’? Let’s look at these insights.
7 Insights on How to Prepare and Structure a Business Presentation
Here’s an interesting video on seven different ways to structure your presentation. High energy, simple explanation and packed with examples.
In structuring your presentation, the first thing to do while preparing your draft is to decide which form you want your presentation to take.
This could be informative, entertaining, persuasive, or inspiring. So, whichever form you would like your presentation to take, here are some useful tips on how to structure your presentation.
1. Start with facts and a story
In order to get your audience’s attention and keep them longing for more, it is best to start your presentation with facts about the current situation.
After telling them the fact about the current state of things, you then back it up with a story about how such facts could affect them.
Related Article: 8 Key Things to Know for Better Storytelling
2. Go down to the explanation
After establishing the fact and backing it with a story initially, the next thing in line is to elaborate on the fact you have laid down. With this, your audience can have a clearer understanding of what you are talking about.
The objective here is to take your audience through the road map of how to get to the solution or destination because you had already established in your introduction.
3. Pitch your ideas and solution to the audience
Yes, while trying to guide your audience by explaining the facts you had already established, chances are that there will be potential hurdles along the way in the process line.
So, this is where your idea and solutions come in, and at this point, you have to pitch how your ideas and proposals will help your audience solve the impending problems along with the road map.
At this point, all your audience needs are data, tests, and experiments through which the problem can be solved. Click here to find more tips on how to pitch your ideas.
4. Make room and prepare for objections
Sure, while you propose your solutions and ideas to your audience, you will most likely be faced with questions and objections about your choice of solution for a problem.
Objections and challenges to your proposed idea from an audience are very common and to be expected in any business presentation.
However, since you have already done your research about the subject matter, you should be able to give convincing answers or alternative solutions to any objections or questions about your proposition.
5. Have facts and social proofs to back your solutions
While the objections and questions from your audience may seem like the end of the road for your presentation, you will be able to give precise answers to their questions and objections with the right preparation.
Also, to show your audience that you have prepared enough for the presentation, you can convince them more by using some facts, figures, and well-crafted stories to seal your answers.
6. Restate the main ideas or message in your presentation
After giving precise answers to your audience’s questions and trying to clear the air about any objections they may have, it’s time to reemphasize your presentation’s main ideas.
Doing this will bring back your audience’s interest and attention to the idea and solutions you are proposing to them.
That will also serve as a reminder that creates ripples of your message in their head even after your presentation.
7. Close with a befitting story
Your closing story could be the completing part of the story you shared before starting your presentation. Alternatively, it could be another story that will resonate with the main message or ideas in your presentation within your audience.
Whichever one you are closing with, ensure that it is strong enough to nail your points and ideas and create ripples of the message in your presentation within your audience.
After preparing and structuring your presentation, there’s another task to do; to deliver your message. But how do you deliver a business presentation? Let’s get started with these insights.
7 Insights on How to Deliver a Business Presentation
How you deliver your message to your audience determines the effectiveness of your presentation.
Irrespective of where you will deliver your business presentation and the number of people you may have as your audience, one important goal you want to achieve is to ensure that your business presentation turns out a huge success at the end of the session.
For this reason, your mission will be to engage your audience throughout the presentation and create insightful memories in their minds long after you are done with your business presentation.
So, if you have been considering the best way to deliver your business presentation, here are some handy insights to help you deliver a persuasive business speech to your audience.
1. Start strong
The first step of delivering a business presentation is Starting your business presentation with a huge banger that will keep your audience expectant and set the tone for your presentation’s entire content.
For instance, you may start with a famous quote or some shocking statistics that awaken their consciousness of paying rapt attention to your presentation’s content.
Alternatively, you can also have a good kick off with an attention-grabbing image, an interesting video, or even a touching story about something familiar to your audience (or related to their services, products, and customers).
Nevertheless, since the first impression is key to your business presentation’s overall success, you need to assure your audience that your business presentation is worth their time, not just a dry talk where you dispiritedly keep talking to them.
2. Interact with your audience
Talking “at” your audience instead of talking and having a conversation with them is one of the death traps to making your business presentation sleep-inducing and super boring.
You can spice up your presentation by converting it into a conversation whereby your audience has the opportunity to say a thing or two as you go on with the presentation. In doing this, you can ask your audience some tricky or straightforward questions, get their feedback, and create a connection with them using some anecdotes.
To make your business presentation more practical and engaging, you can politely request your audience to signify by raising their hands if they agree to a point or argument in your presentation.
By so doing, you are most likely to avoid the most dreaded “death by PowerPoint” and having your audience flow with you throughout your presentation.
3. Use visual aids where necessary
Depending on your business presentation’s content, adding some visual aids in your slides can boost the level of your audience’s interest and attention in your presentation.
While using visual aids, ensure that they are images or videos that will help give a clearer insight and understanding of your points to your audience, instead of serving as an explanation aid for yourself.
Nevertheless, when using visual aids, they should be kept simple and short so that they won’t defeat the purpose of getting your audience’s attention and help them get your points better.
4. Have a laid down strategy for your presentation
Before walking up to the podium to address your audience, you must have done thorough background research on the subject matter with ample rehearsal on how you will present each point.
Irrespective of how nervous you may be at the sight of your audience, never try to get through the whole presentation as fast as you can before you slump in their presence.
Instead, mount the stage with an intent and a purpose. Be determined that your presentation’s purpose won’t be defeated by the faces that make up your audience.
Also, create charts, images, drawings, and bullet points to present your idea, and don’t stick to a globe of words all over your slides.
With that last tip, you will be able to avert the pitfall of standing up to read through your slides in a monotone that will send all your audience to sleep within the shortest time.
5. Establish eye contact with your audience and smile
Personalizing your presentation and interaction with your audience is an excellent way to have them respond to your presentation instead of standing up to speak to them like a robot.
While giving your presentation, ensure that you establish friendly eye contact with many members of your audience so that they can feel that yes, you are communicating with them individually.
Maintaining some level of contact with your audience is a good way to tell your audience that you are confident in your ideas. It can also mean that you value the time your audience has spared to listen to your presentation.
And spotting a few friendly faces within your audience to whom you can smile at once in a while is also another great way to regain your confidence, especially when you are feeling nervous.
6. Be enthusiastic about your presentation
Vanessa Edwards, the founder of the science of people, and famous TED talker has a funny, yet interesting video on how to prepare your voice, voice warm ups, and your opening lines…in a way that gets the audience excited.
Your vibes matter as much as the idea you are sharing during a business presentation. For this reason, it is a helpful insight to feel passionate about your presentation.
The reasoning is quite simple. At the slightest time when you begin to express some cues of tiredness and boredom about your presentation, your audience will feel the same and even more.
Anyone who is listening to your presentation will be able to tell how passionate you are when it comes to the points you are sharing in your presentation.
They can tell through your stage usage, eye contact, pitch, and your overall body language.
You can adopt some preparatory strategies such as vocal exercises, stretching, listening to songs, or even reading some inspirational quotes to boost your enthusiasm about your business presentation.
You may also have a bottle of water close to you to keep you hydrated and energized throughout your presentation.
7. Be authentic and original in your delivery
No audience ever wants to listen to a presenter that comes all polished up to lecture them on a particular topic with some bodily cues that depict pretense.
By being original with your audience, you should be able to relate with them and make your presentation take the form of a conversation with a close friend rather than look like a king to his subjects.
The obvious truth is that when you are original in your expression and presentation, your audience will appreciate your presentation and be more likely to trust your words.
Summarily, the whole point of delivering a great business presentation is by connecting with your audience and sharing your ideas with them in the best way possible.
7 Ways to Make a Memorable Business Presentation
Preparing for a business presentation and coming on stage to deliver and making it memorable are two different things.
No doubt, a persuasive presentation can turn out to be one of the most challenging types of presentation for most professionals or even entrepreneurs.
This is usually the case since it is generally difficult to persuade others to buy your ideas, adopting your proposal or solution to a problem.
Well, with the right insight and tips, you can make your business presentation very memorable and persuasive.
1. Show your audience that you have carried out enough research
One way to make your business presentation memorable and persuasive is to research the topic or subject matter extensively.
With such research carried out before, you can confidently show your audience that you are in the best position to speak to them on the subject matter.
While doing this, you can help your points sink more and be more persuasive when you use examples and illustrations from your audience’s world or even using images and visual aids that resonate with your audience’s industry.
Besides visual aids, you can also use some technical languages that are unique to your audience’s industry.
By so doing, you are giving your audience a sense of individuality since they will be convinced that the presentation was specially prepared for them.
2. Exhibit some level of doggedness
When presenting ideas that are meant to persuade your audience, your first attempt may not yield the expected results.
For this reason, always consider a second attempt if your first attempt at persuading your audience didn’t work out.
With this, you can build on objections raised during the first encounter to make the second presentation more persuading and memorable.
3. Be prepared to proffer alternative solutions
In some cases, your key ideas in a presentation may be opposed or faced with some potential obstacles.
In this case, while preparing for your presentation, ensure that you outline or identify other alternative solutions that can be adopted in a situation where an inevitable obstacle hinders your proposed solution.
4. Establish an emotional connection between yourself and your audience
In most cases, emotional cues help create and establish your decision-making process, and this can work wonders even where facts and figures cannot work.
According to Antonio Damasio, a renowned neuroscientist, “emotion and feelings play a major role in humans’ reasoning.” Here is a video where he explains and describes the place of emotion in human decision making.
5. Incorporate a story or two into your business presentation
Although facts and data are known to be very good at persuading people, one of the best ways to persuade your audience with your presentation is by telling them a well-crafted story.
With this, you can boost your audience’s interest in your presentation, and even help them to understand your points better.
6. Present your speech with conviction
Generally, commanding some level of conviction in what you are saying is very important in public speaking, and this trait is critical, especially when presenting a persuasive presentation.
One reason why conviction in your expression is crucial is that any iota of hesitation from you is enough to stir your audience into doubt about the ideas you share with them. Remember, doubt is very insidious!
Also, memorizing a large portion of your presentation will show your audience that you know your onions about what you are presenting to them. To do this effectively, you may be considering having these parts in your presentation on your fingertips;
- The opening statement
- About 3-4 sentences outlining your central idea or message
- The top 3 most important aspects of your proposal
In case you have some challenges memorizing your presentation, here are some tips to help you do so professionally.
7. Show proof about what others are doing
Having some social proof is a powerful psychological concept that can help you persuade your audience to believe and buy your ideas and proposals when doing a business presentation.
Having social proof about others has a bandwagon effect that can quickly help you to sway your audience towards your ideas.
As a way of incorporating social proofs into your business presentation, you can tell your audience about how many of your customers have already adopted your solutions and how they are enjoying your ideas from such solutions.
To Wrap Up
References & Further Reading
VisualHackers. 13 Tips for a Powerful Business Presentation.
HBR, Chris Anderson. How to Give a Killer Presentation.