Business presentations are a staple of the business world. Almost everyone has had to or will have to give a presentation at some point in their career.
And everyone knows what business presentations mean. Dry and boring speakers giving terrible presentations on dull and mind numbing information. There’s a good chance an image of Ben Stein with his signature monotone dry voice has popped into your head. And that would be the stereotypical image.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Often presentations are poor because of poor presenting and public speaking skills. Even a few simple minor adjustments can bring your presentation to the next level. Without needing to use fancy graphics, animations, and bright colors.
Keep reading to discover 4 secrets to delivering a knockout business presentation.
4 Ways to Deliver Knockout Business Presentation
1. Know the Material
This may seem like a no brainer, but you might be surprised many people believe they only need the presentation notes and visuals. But this only sets them up for failure. Especially, when it comes to the Q&A part of the presentation, like at the end of a sales product demo.
If you don’t know the material you’re presenting on without your notes and visuals, how can you answer questions your audience may have? You probably would find it difficult to even help someone better understand something, let alone answer anything difficult and involving critical thinking skills.
Your audience will also know right away when you don’t know what you are talking about. When you aren’t quite sure what it is, you’re talking about there is a tendency to drone on. This can leave your audience bored.
Knowing your material though can help you to find fun ways to deliver the information with jokes, stories, anecdotes, and examples. The audience will respond in kind by being attentive and engaged in your presentation.
2. Don’t Memorize Your Presentation
Knowing the material, you are speaking on and memorizing the presentation are two different things. While it may seem like the smart idea to memorize your presentation, the opposite is true.
Memorizing the presentation makes it difficult to think on the fly when something goes wrong. Whether it’s a mechanical failure, the presentation is in the wrong order, or when someone asks an out of nowhere question, memorizing will prevent you from adapting quickly to these types of scenarios.
When you don’t memorize the presentation, but instead learn the material you will still be able to speak in the event of equipment failure or if the slideshow is in the wrong order. Your audience will be less likely to notice, meaning you won’t lose their attention.
Practice makes perfect. Everyone knows that. Practice your sales product demo pitch enough and you’ll get a sale every time, right? No, because practice is not the same as rehearsal.
Rehearsal in this context means to fully rehearse your presentation. If you can, try to rehearse using the equipment and the space you will the day of.
This will help you to know how big the stage is (so you don’t walk off it, it’s happened, even on Broadway) as well be able to test the equipment. To make sure your visuals will work without any problems.
This will also help with your speaking voice, whether or not you need to be louder or softer, and timing, pacing, and breathing. These are all things that, when not practiced, can be distracting and off putting to the audience.
4. Have a Backup Plan
It never fails, half way through your presentation or before you even begin, and the equipment won’t work. Or, worse yet your files are corrupted.
First make sure you always bring multiple copies of your presentation on separate storage drives. This will help to prevent being stuck should the equipment their corrupt your files for whatever reason.
However, if there is no way to use your presentation due to equipment failure, you need to have a backup plan. A good back up plan is to have physical backups of your speaker notes as well as a physical copy of your presentation. The portions that can be printed anyway.
It’s not ideal, but it will help to keep your audience engaged since you’ve thought ahead and accounted for this.
Knocking a Business Presentation out of the Park
Business presentations don’t have to be boring. With these four easy to remember tips you’ll be able to keep your audience engaged and entertained throughout.
Whether it’s a demo or corporate presentation being professional, accounting for surprises, and being able to answer questions will win them over every time.
Author: Cathy Carter