Business presentations are inescapable in today’s world, where entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of businesses. With limited resources, only the best ideas and concepts are taken seriously and given the opportunity to shine. It is therefore important to deliver business presentations in the most effective and captivating way as possible, giving you the edge to stand out from your competitors and clinch the deal. Here are 12 ways to deliver effective business presentations.
How to Prepare an Awesome Business Presentation
Great business presentations need not be complex, so don’t fret, we’ll show you the steps you can take to get started! Here are the basics you need to remember.
1. Know your audience
Your presentation should fit the needs of the audience, and so you have to know who they are, what they have done and their background. These are essential questions that you need to have answers to in order to deliver an effective presentation that will appeal to your audience of investors or executives. Look up the biographies, social media accounts and the general background of your audience members, then use this information to craft your presentation appropriately.
2. Practice makes perfect
You may have heard this phrase a lot, but “practice makes perfect” is arguably the only way that will guarantee you a great presentation! The more you practice, the more familiar and comfortable you will be with the contents of the presentation. Record every practice presentation and replay it to see what you could improve on and change for the next practice. Modifying and improving your delivery every time will only get you closer to a more impactful and effective business presentation.
3. Show your passion and sincerity
You are presenting to a room full of people, so use that to your advantage! Rely on the human aspect of your presentation by emotionally connecting with the investors or executives through stories that express your passion and sincerity about the content you are presenting. Not only will this move the audience but it will also convince the investors or executives that you can make this project happen successfully.
4. Be business savvy
No matter what the contents of your presentation may be, ensure that you present your material through a business perspective. After all, investments are a business decision, and projects need to make sense financially. Know the numbers in your project at your fingertips and estimate profits that the business venture can potentially rake. Do not simply focus on the product or idea, but also focus on its practicality in terms of profits and business.
5. Make your presentation visual and interactive
If you are presenting a product, demonstrate how it works to your audience. Get them involved in seeing how this product can be used to make their lives easier or more luxurious. Research shows that physical touch or interaction with a product will make the person more inclined to want the product. If you are presenting an idea or business venture, try making the slides as interactive and visual as possible, to draw your audience into the subject matter of your presentation.
6. Be concise
In your business presentation, try introducing your idea or product in the simplest manner possible and avoid adding too much information that may take attention away from the product or idea. The best way to ensure that you are not over-complicating your presentation with technical terms and jargon is to think that you are presenting to a 5-year-old. Be so clear and concise that even a child will buy into your idea or product!
7. Prepare a guide
While points 5 and 6 aim at simplifying your presentation, at the same time we do not want to oversimplify the content or material of the presentation. To supplement your sharing, you can have a pamphlet that goes into detail about the product or idea; information that you have purposefully missed in your presentation. This pamphlet can complement your slides and you can pass them around before you start your presentation.
8. Show the audience — “why your product/idea?”
It is important to show the investors or executives you’re presenting to why your product or idea is needed. Why is it a missing piece in the world right now? What makes your product unique, as compared to others in the market? Answering these questions will not only make what you offer desirable, but will also allow you to stand out from your competitors. Show the investors or executives what your product or idea has that differentiates itself from the others.
9. Be confident, but not arrogant
Confidence is key when you are presenting. This comes down to body posture, the way you speak, and the eye contact you make with others. However, it is essential that your confidence does not come across as cockiness or arrogance. Australian entrepreneur Jodie Fox, co-founder of Shoes of Prey, gives great advice regarding this. She says,
“You need to get in there and confidently present the idea, and the basis on which you have come to that idea but to demonstrate that you are listening when your idea is challenged, and then enter into a dialogue if you’re invited to.”
10. Be calm
During and after the presentation, there may be questions thrown at you but always remember to keep your cool! We know that this advice is easy to understand yet hard to follow. However, do keep in mind that only you know your idea or product the best; you have been involved in its conception and are familiar with it. Take your time in answering the questions and do not be fazed.
11. Be honest
Even if you know your product or idea like the back of your hand, you may not be able to answer every question that you are being asked by the investor or executive. Maintain your composure when you are asked a question that you do not know the answer to, be truthful and tell them that you do not know the answer to their question, but do so tactfully; in this case, honestly is the best policy. Tell them that you will get back to them immediately after you have clarified about their question. Do this through email or call them personally to answer their questions after the presentation.
12. Take the opportunity to learn
At the end of the day, even if you do not get the deal or approval from your target audience, take every presentation that you have done as an opportunity to learn and grow. Use the feedback and criticisms of these investors and executives to improve on your idea, product and presentation. Listen to their advice, take good notes and use it as constructive criticism aimed at helping your project. Come back stronger and better with an improved concept or product!
There you have it — 12 pointers to help you prepare an awesome business presentation! Just remember:
- Know your audience
- Practice makes perfect
- Show your passion and sincerity
- Be business savvy
- Make your presentation visual and interactive
- Be concise
- Prepare a guide
- Show the audience — “why your product/idea?”
- Be confident, but not arrogant
- Be calm
- Be honest
- Take the opportunity to learn
Use these steps as a general guideline to help you with your future business presentations. We do have one last tip: Try watching an episode or two of Shark Tank in your free time; we find it to be a great show that teaches you the dos and don’ts of business presentations (plus, you get time to kick back and relax a little!).
All the best!