Tips for Improving Business Presentations

Most business professionals will find themselves giving a presentation at some point in their careers. For some, presentations are a routine experience. Whether it’s a one-off experience or done on a regular basis, giving a business presentation requires the ability to successfully share insights and information to an audience of people. Failing to do so can result in time wasted, lost sales, or worse.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to improve the potential of business presentations: 

Tell a story

The best way to keep an audience engaged in what you’re saying is to tell them a story. More importantly, it’s got to be an interesting story. Take a look at the information you’re presenting and identify the main characters, the conflict, and how the two interact. Make that the focus of your presentation. What’s more, take the audience on a journey from point A to point B, wherein the characters have undergone change and transition. Introduce problems and provide solutions for solving them. Storytelling is a timeless method of making people interested in what you have to say, making it a go-to technique for transforming a presentation into an adventure.

Show instead of tell

Most people assume a good presentation hinges on what they have to say. However, more emphasis should be put on what they show their audience. For example, rather than explain how a competitor’s website is better optimized for sales, use a capture web page tool to have it available to view when you need it. By accessing the site pages during your presentation, you’re able to show your audience exactly what you’re trying to get across. The findings can be supplemented by your narration, rather than the other way around.

Take advantage of technology

Storytelling has often benefited from advances in technology. For example, the development of photography ushered in the age of motion pictures, which remains the premier method of telling stories to modern audiences. With this in mind, harness the power of technology for your presentation. While your budget probably doesn’t have room for movie production, consider whiteboard animation as a means of providing your audience with a fun little video showcasing the story you’re trying to tell them.

Know your audience

The best live performers are those who can read their audience and act accordingly. What works for one group of people might not succeed with another. Use this to your advantage when preparing your presentation. Does the audience consist of coworkers who know you personally? If so, feel free to insert inside jokes into your presentation. Is it going to be executives from out-of-town? If so, you might want to stick to family-friendly forms of breaking the ice.

Prepare to answer questions

Many people tasked with giving a business presentation make it their mission to explain everything they can, in order to prevent members of the audience from having to ask questions. Not only is this impractical, but it also inhibits an organic form of audience engagement that presenters can use to their advantage. Rather than try and cover every base, engineer your presentation to lead to specific questions, and prepare your answers ahead of time. In the event nobody asks the questions you planned to answer, include the information as a postscript afterthought before concluding your presentation.

Presentations are the fact of life for most business professionals. Even if they’re only an occasional responsibility of yours, the stakes involved typically call for giving it your best. By taking steps to improve the power of your presentation, you’re more likely to reach the goal you’ve set out to achieve.

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