Poor presentation skills are costing businesses time, money and opportunities. For entrepreneurs and small business owners who rely on presentations to secure new investments or land big client accounts, a bad presentation can be the difference between success and failure.
What differentiates a strong presentation from a boring one comes down to these 5 things:
1. Be strategic.
Every time you prepare a presentation, you should think strategically. Don’t focus solely on what will happen while you are speaking. Instead, structure your presentation around what you want to happen afterwards. Ask yourself:
- 1. What do I want people to remember?
- 2. What next step do I want them to take when we are done?
- 3. How can I gain my audience’s trust?
By thinking strategically, you put yourself in the mindset to create a presentation that supports your other marketing efforts and connects with your audience.
2. Keep it to three points
The human brain works like this: One, two, three… I forget. No one is going to remember your tenth point, so its always best to keep it short. The sad reality is that we live in a world with short attention span. Either win hearts by being straight to the point or neglect this responsibility and get forgotten forever.
3. Know your material
If you can’t speak confidently and conversationally, people will know you’re not the expert they’re looking for.” And if you fail to demonstrate your expertise, your audience is going to lose interest before they come to trust your business.
Taking time to prepare and know your material is key to an engaging presentation, no matter who you are speaking to or what topic you are covering.
4. Tell a story
Instead of boring your audience, develop a genuine connection with your audience. Throughout your presentation, tell stories that add meaning and depth to your message. Telling personal stories will make you more likable, trustworthy, and interesting. In addition, facts and stats typically stimulate only two areas of the human brain, but stories can activate up to seven, and trigger emotional responses within listeners.
5. Remember that whatever you are selling, you are selling ideas
A presentation is no longer about closing anything but rather about germinating an idea that resonates with the audience. The idea then drives a passion to acquire the product or service.
It all comes down to what your audience walks away with in the end. Did you deliver another boring business presentation? Or did you persuade or motivate everyone to action? Apply the 5 secrets to your next business presentation and watch your ratings soar.
Do you have any other useful tips to share with us? Please leave a comment.
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