Here are the 10 tips to make world class business presentations. You can apply these ideas in your next business presentation. If you would like to keep these 10 tips handy, you can view and download the related infographic.
This is naturally the starting point for all successful presentations. The more you understand your audience, their emotions, their goals and their expectations from your presentation, the more you ‘connect’ with them. The issues you raise, the examples you provide will ring a bell. Your presentation will be laser focused and relevant.
2. Tell a story:
A story connects with your audience better than cold data in some cases. “5000 people lost their lives in an earthquake” is cold data. Your story about Maria, who is suddenly left homeless, after losing her two children and husband in the earthquake – makes your audience feel the impact of the event at a much deeper level
Telling a story
3. Use Visuals:
Dr. John Medina has conducted extensive research to prove that your audience can recall your message 65% better – if you add visuals next to your text. We are naturally wired to remember visuals better than text. Use high quality photos to support your text and watch your message ‘stick’
4. Convey one idea per slide:
Too much information on one slide confuses your audience. Chunk your ideas into individual messages. Force yourself to say just one message per slide. Your audience will have more time and opportunity to engage with your message and be persuaded
Organizing and chunking Information
5. Remove visual clutter:
Edward Tufte talks about ‘Noise to Signal ratio’ in his book. The less noise you have on your slide, the more the signal gets amplified. Perform a ‘noise audit’ on your business slides. Keep just the essential elements that support your core message on the slide. Ruthlessly remove the rest.
6. Keep it simple:
This is easier said than done. Whenever you make high stakes presentations, there is always a tendency to show off – to sound ‘competent’. It takes a lot of confidence and courage to keep things simple. Remember, you are in the room to help your audience make informed decisions. Speak to their level and their knowledge. You will connect with them much better.
7. Avoid Death by PowerPoint:
Sometimes the best slides are ‘No slides’. Practice presenting without slides whenever you can. Go ‘Naked’ as Garr Reynolds puts it. Show your personality. Don’t hide behind your slide deck. Turn the lights on and face your audience. You would be amazed by how much your audience will respect you for it
8. Invest in your skills:
Watch the masters present. Browse YouTube videos and observe the great presenters in action. Learn from the simplicity of Steve Jobs slides. Pick up the intelligent use of visuals when you observe Nancy Duarte present. See how Garr Reynolds connects with his audience in his TED talks. Soon, you will pick up the threads and come up with your own unique style that sets you apart.
9. Anticipate objections:
Record yourself presenting your slides. Now, play your recording and be your ‘Audience advocate’. Raise objections, ask questions, and punch holes in the logic of your argument. Note down your points. Stop. Switch roles. Be the presenter again and start answering all those objections. Keep clearly verifiable proofs to address each of those objections. Have slides ready in case your audience raises those points during the presentation
10. Provide a clear call to action:
Most presenters fail to spell out the next steps. Take time to articulate clear, realistic next steps once you finish making your presentation. Do you expect your audience to call you for a ‘Demo’ session? Do you want them to place a ‘Trial order’? Do you want them to go to a specific resource to learn more?
Unless you clearly tell your audience what they are expected to do next, you can expect your presentation to be forgotten quickly. What is more, you can start tracking the number of times your audience has moved to the next step out of the total number of presentations you make. This is a useful metric to measure the success of your presentations.
Infographic listing the 10 Tips to create a World Class Presentation
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Start using at least some of the above suggestions and see your business presentations win.
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