Few assignments are more daunting than a major business presentation. Indeed, getting up in front of clients, managers, or even total strangers and delivering an engaging presentation is a difficult –– and stressful –– task. Yet, at one point or another, many ambitious professionals find themselves thrust toward this spotlight. Thankfully, there are steps you can follow to ensure your next presentation goes off gangbusters –– no matter your previous experience with public speaking. Check them out here:
Study Your Audience
The first step to creating a dynamic presentation is to examine your audience. Who you’re speaking to should have a significant bearing on what you’ll eventually cover. After all, conducting a workplace training session with brand new employees is quite a different prospect from delivering an annual report to your bosses. As such, take some time to get to know your audience and what they expect from you.
The ultimate goal of any business presentation is to impart valuable intel in a compelling way. It’s therefore crucial for professionals giving presentations to deliver insight in a quick, efficient manner. Adult learning theory states that people connect with educational content best when they can clearly see the benefit of that content. With that in mind, make sure you don’t bury crucial information within the depths of your presentation. Instead, come right out with what you have to say!
Keep it Simple
You don’t have to create a grand, over-the-top slideshow or video to win over your audience. Rather, business presentations are typically best when handled with restraint. Remember, the “entertainment value” of your presentation matters a good deal less than the substance of it. So don’t stress out too much over minute details or graphics.
Provide Visual Aids
Having said that, it’s still a good idea to include a few images, pictures, videos, or graphs to demonstrate the points you’re making in your presentation. Some people are visual learners and prefer to see a concept laid out before them, while others are more comfortable with a straightforward lecture. Easy-to-follow visual aids coupled with your speech will help everyone to follow along.
If you’re passionate about a subject and knowledgeable enough to speak about it at length, then you’re not at risk for failing to fill a time slot. Indeed, the issue with most business presentations isn’t that they’re too short or don’t contain enough info; instead, it’s the opposite. Presentations that are laden with inessential details and that drone on and on are a professional’s worst nightmare. Keep in mind that most people have short attention spans, so if you plan on giving a lengthy speech, you need to have a good reason to do so. Regardless, you should always time yourself and do a practice run before you give your presentation for real. This way, you can figure out what you can afford to cut and focus on what matters most!