April 26, 2015
One of the most difficult things to do in business isn’t so much coming up with a viable idea as it is being able to present that idea to your clients (and, hopefully, get their approval). For many business professionals, this remains an elusive goal.
The good news is that presenting is a skill like any other and can be learned if you’re willing to put in the time. Here are five tips to help you create a better, more memorable presentation that resonates with your clients.
1. Focus on Framing and Delivering Your Story
The most successful presentations often have a lot in common with compelling storytelling and it’s for this reason that the way you present is just as important what you have to say. When preparing your pitch, minimize the use of technical jargon and arrange your ideas from the top down.
The goal is to create a personal relationship between your audience and the point you’re trying to get across. Understand that there are many different types of business storytelling and that each approach may be more or less suitable depending on the situation.
2. Pay Attention to Your Listeners’ Body Language
All too often, presenters miss the mark and go off on a tangent when confronted by the reality of speaking in public. The trick is paying close attention to what your audience responds to and adapting your performance to suit.
Of course there will always be more than a few who seem disengaged but the next time you’re delivering a pitch to a major client or shareholder, focus your energies on speaking to those who are actively listening and you’ll find that things go much more smoothly.
3. Plan the Multimedia
As technology has evolved and created more avenues for business professionals to create dazzling pitches, there are now also more opportunities for things to go wrong.
Whether it’s your Prezi not working correctly or your video buffering every five seconds, few things look more unprofessional than malfunctioning multimedia tools. As we all know, video streaming can be unreliable, as a stable connection is required for the media to work consistently. The simplest piece of advice is this: test your multimedia well in advance of your presentation, and have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
4. Don't Over-Explain Your Ideas
By over-explaining things in your presentation, you’re making a lot of what you say redundant, especially if you’re repeating the information being displayed by the accompanying visuals.
You’d be amazed at how many presenters are their own worst enemies when it comes to pitching new ideas. So to avoid hurting your chances, let your slides do some of the work and support the information with helpful details, then move on.
5. Be Prepared to Answer the Difficult Questions
Remember that you’ll often be speaking to a group of people with a vested interest in the ideas you present and they’ll often come to the table with their own expectations, concerns, and questions.
As such, if your team or department has come up with a concept that overshoots the line or offers solutions to problems that are purely theoretical, it’s likely to be met with criticism. In the event this happens, be open to suggestions and try to control the energy of the room when engaging in discussion.
How do you prepare for client and investor presentations? We’d love to hear some of your advice in the comments section below.
Image by StartupStockPhotos
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