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If you are serious about your business, at some point, you need to make a business presentation. Whether you are looking for new investors, training new staff, or selling to an audience, acing your business presentation skills is a must.
Unfortunately, starting a solid business presentation is a huge undertaking for a lot of entrepreneurs. To help you with this important task, we’ve compiled this guide.
What is a Business Presentation?
A business presentation is a great tool that will help you attract new investors and customers, or let people know about your business.
This slideshow or demonstration showcases your services, products, and even history. This is usually carried out through audio/visual material such as televisions, laptops, projectors, and statistical documents.
Business presentations are usually made using a presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint but they can also be created using material such as flip charts.
Types of Business Presentations
Not all business presentations are the same. We’ve gathered its most common types to make it easier for you to assess which one you should make.
The goal of this business presentation is to provide information and educate the audience. It may cover the following topics:
- Marketing plan
- Status reports
- Monthly reports
The main characteristic of this type of business presentation is it begins with a goal, and it is followed by specific action plans.
This type of business presentation is commonly presented in the middle and upper management of companies. The goal of this presentation is to convince people to support a side.
Usually, this presentation begins with a problem and a proposed solution. Then, it is followed by a situation analysis.
If you plan on presenting a persuasive business presentation, you must highlight the advantages of your viewpoint, as well as present facts and examples. This way, you can persuade your audience to favor your solution.
The purpose of this type of presentation is to communicate the findings of a team or group. This presentation may be informal, but as with other types of presentations, it seeks to convince people to accept new strategies and findings.
These presentations are commonly used in corporate meetings where senior executives present their desired corporate direction, followed by team members discussing the topic in detail.
Giving presentations made with programs such as PowerPoint has become the new norm in business.
However, you can still use blackboards, whiteboards, and other channels to capture the attention of your audience.
You can even use both to ensure that your audience remembers the details of your presentation more.
Importance of Business Presentations
Every business owner should know how to make business presentations. Here’s why these types of presentations are vital to the success of your brand.
You’ll be seen as an authority figure
When you make great presentations, you will encourage more people to trust your brand.
Whether the presentation is for a sales campaign or a simple meeting for your company, presentations have the power to influence how people see you. In turn, this can affect their decision-making process.
Another reason why a presentation makes you an authority figure is that it promotes consistency. When you have a standard for presentations, everyone in your company can communicate information more consistently.
It increases engagement
One of the major upsides of presentations is it makes it easier for the audience to engage. Through a solid presentation, you can hold people’s attention, and make them understand concepts visually.
Presentations are also theatrical in nature so it creates a lasting impact compared to when you simply talk without visual aids. When your audience’s engagement is increased, you’re sure that they get your message.
It is effective in reaching various audience groups
At its core, presentations are a communication tool. You can use them in face-to-face meetings, Zoom calls, and many more. The same presentation you used for your meeting can even be made available to download for your staff so they can study it more even after the presentation has concluded.
It gives you flexibility
Another importance of presentation is it allows presenters like you to be more flexible.
When you have a presentation, you don’t need to spend hours editing or changing your content to make way for new information. You can easily modify it depending on its audience.
For instance, if you are making a business presentation in various market sectors, you can incorporate specific content for each audience group.
Tips on How to Make a Killer Business Presentation
Here are some effective and surprisingly easy tips to follow to ensure to make the best business presentation.
1. Write it down first
When making a business presentation, you don’t immediately open your favorite presentation software the moment you decide to make it.
The goal of your business presentation is to convey a message. But first, you need to define what that message is.
Considering this, stay away from your computer during the first stage of developing your presentation. Keep in mind that PowerPoint or Keynote, along with other presentation software, are not designed to write presentations. They are only designed to deliver them.
Get your pen and paper out, or open MS Word or any notes app, then create the headlines you want on your presentation.
Once done, assess of everything is cohesive. Your business presentation should tell a story that has a beginning, middle, and end.
2. Steer clear from black & white presentations
Standard black and white presentations should have no room in your company. This will only bore your audience.
Leverage beginner-friendly software to design your presentation. There are tons of templates to choose from to make your business presentation more professional-looking.
If you want to take the extra mile, hire someone to do a presentation template for your company. This one-time investment will definitely pay off in the long run.
3. Use images & visuals
Reading presentations that contain huge blocks of texts is never fun. Effective presenters know the importance of leveraging images and other visual aids in their presentation.
This could be charts, diagrams, or graphs. When you present data this way, your audience will understand it better.
4. Don’t use stock photography
This is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when making presentations. Nobody likes to see stock photos with annoying watermarks.
Similarly, if you are presenting to a Filipino audience and the stock photos you have on your presentation only use Caucasian models, these people would not relate to your presentation much.
5. Inject a little humor
We’re not asking you to play Kabulastugan Instagram videos on your business presentation. However, try to inject a few funny anecdotes without making fun of anyone.
Business presentations are notorious for being boring so if you want to prevent your audience from dozing off, lighten up the mood.
6. Don’t overload your business presentation with information
When you make business presentations, your goal is not to make your audiences read, but to make them listen. Do not put all information in slides because this will only decrease the interest of your audience.
Instead of treating your business presentation like a transcript, use it to guide you when telling the story of the presentation. Here’s an order you can use for your slides:
- Visual data
- Questions (directed to you by your audience)
- Other backup information to answer possible questions
7. Use large fonts
The last thing you want is to have people at the back squinting because they can’t see the text in your presentation. As a rule, the text and images in your slides should be clear even for those at the back of the room.
It is also recommended to use simple fonts. Here are some fonts that look professional:
- Josefin Sans
- Times new roman
8. Keep it short
Nobody wants to listen to an hour-long presentation without breaks. As much as possible, cut your business presentation to 20 minutes or less.
This way, you get to arrest the attention span of your audience from beginning to end.
9. Always end on a positive note
When it comes to a business presentation, you should end on a high note by answering the question “what should we do next?”
This call to action will encourage your audience to think beyond your presentation and find ways to apply what they learned.
10. Check the set-up
Whether you are making a business presentation to 10 people or 1,000, you should always check the set-up beforehand, or ask someone to do it for you.
This way, you will minimize the risk of running into technical issues that could affect your presentation’s success.
11. Don’t forget to practice
An aesthetically-pleasing presentation will only get you so far. At the end of the day, the success of your business presentation solely depends on your presentation skills.
If you haven’t practiced this skill yet, don’t worry. After all, nobody is born a great speaker. This is something you develop over time.
What may help you is to practice in front of a mirror, or do a mock presentation with two people in your team. Ask them for feedback on areas you can improve on, and make adjustments as needed.
12. Prepare for a Q&A
At the end of your presentation, you must ask your audience for questions or input. When taking note of possible questions, do not leave out the simplest ones.
It is also recommended to the answer by heart instead of simply reading them from your slide.
You can also prepare some questions at the end if in case your audience is too shy to ask questions. This way, there would be no uncomfortable and awkward silence.