Happy Monday, friends! If you’ve ever wanted to give a presentation to elevate your business, this post is for you. My friend, Kayla Matthews, from Productivity Theory has some super helpful tips to share with you on how to give a super awesome and inspiring presentation, so keep reading!
In an ideal world, every business presentation would be easy to create, readily understood by audience members and spur people to greatness. It would be a talk that TED would be thrilled to showcase to viewers around the world. The truth, though, is that most presentations are dull and lifeless. They’re pulled together at the last minute, and the presenter is feeling less-than-enthusiastic. Fortunately, you can keep reading to learn eight secrets to totally make your next business presentation memorable as well as inspiring.
1: Ditch the “Academic” Attitude
If you want to motivate an audience, even in a business setting, don’t talk down to them… just talk TO them. Engage them as if you were speaking to your best friend. Address them as buddies, and use conversational language. This doesn’t mean you have to add “fillers” like “um”, “uh”, etc. However, you should speak on a human-to-human level, not a lecturer-to-peons one.
2: Focus on the Social Good
People in audiences tend to emotionally connect with presentations that somehow weave the social good into the topic. For instance, say you’re doing a sales presentation to prospective investors about a way to keep dogs away from a certain area without hurting the dogs in the process. You might bring up using electronic dog repellant instead of other trapping methods that could seem barbaric to animal lovers. Your audience will sense that you’re truly talking about something positive and meant for the “greater good.” It’s hard to argue with such language.
3: Add a Little Humor
Audiences do like to be entertained, even business audiences. The one caveat is that unless you’reassigned to give a stand-up routine for your boss and colleagues, your whole presentation should not be comprised of jokes. Be a little witty, but don’t go overboard.
4: Keep it Short and Sweet
Have you ever sat in “The Meeting That Wouldn’t End?” It’s frustrating for every listener, and it makes it tough to concentrate. People have attention spans of about 20 minutes. After that point, they need a break. Don’t be the boring presenter; be the one that took others’ time into consideration.
5: Use Slides to Add to Your Presentation
PowerPoint can be used successfully during presentations, but it should not simply repeat what you’re going to say. Use charts, graphs and images to illustrate your presentation as complementary devices. Rely on your memory and resist the temptation to read off the PowerPoint slide. Your audience can do that themselves, and they won’t be inspired if you’re just going to read to them all day.
6: Tell a Story
Storytellers make amazing presenters, and there’s no reason your next business speech shouldn’t be wrapped up as a story for your audience. Not only will this help you deliver your presentation, but it will be easier for your listeners to remember what you said later. If you want, you can turn your talk into many different stories as a variation of this suggestion.
7: Practice Your Presentation
If only more presenters did this, we’d have such great business meetings! Alas, most of them feel it’s adequate to “wing it”. This is a shame, because the more you practice, the stronger your chance of knocking your presentation out of the ballpark.
8: Know Your Stuff
It’s essential that you never engage in any presentation on a theme you don’t know inside and outside. Even if you have to stay up the night before a little later than usual, it’s worth the preparation. This is especially useful if you expect to be asked questions from meeting attendees.
Just keep these eight tips in mind, and each presentation you give will be better than the last.
[photo credit: larskflem]