5 Ways to Improve Your Business Presentations
For many businesses, presentations form an integral part of success. You may use them to secure additional funding, bring in new clients, or train your employees in the proper way to do things. These presentations have so much potential, so it’s essential that you get them right.
Luckily, with a few simple tips, you can easily improve your business presentations. Doing so will help you achieve the desired outcome of the presentation and feel more confident while delivering it. Try out the 5 suggestions below and see the difference they can make on your next business presentation.
Have the Right Software
Start by ensuring that you have the right presentation software. Most modern-day presentations are now conducted with visual aids through a computer. You’ll want software that makes it easy to create presentations that are easy to follow and pleasing to look at. Doing so will not only increase its effectiveness but help you feel more confident. In fact, according to these statistics, 91 percent of presenters feel more confident if they have a well-designed slide deck.
It is important to choose software developed for the type of presentation you are giving. For example, if you’re presenting a proposal to new investors, you’ll want to use proposal software to craft your presentation. This type of software automates the entire workflow, allowing you to concentrate on your client and closing the deal.
Choose the Right Time
Another important element of your presentation is when you give it. You’ll want to choose a time when your audience is most receptive to the information you’re presenting and fully paying attention. Whenever possible, you should look to avoid scheduling presentations too early in the morning or late in the day. If you do, you may find that your audience didn’t have their first cup of coffee yet or is already tired from a long day of work.
A good time to schedule your presentations is around lunchtime. Some presenters even choose to present during lunch, while their audience is eating. For example, running a lunch and learn is when you train employees during their lunch hour. By allowing them to eat at the same time, you make it less likely that they are focusing on how hungry they are rather than your presentation. You also get to make that time a little more productive.
Practice on a Test Audience
Practicing is a key component of any presentation. You don’t want the first time you’re going over what to say to be in front of your real audience. Without practice, you’re less likely to know what to say when it comes time to present and it may result in increased feelings of nervousness. Start planning ahead of time for best results.
A good way to practice your presentation is by finding a test audience. Giving the presentation in front of a friendly audience first offers a few benefits. First, you get to experience what it’s like to talk in front of a group, which is useful if you’re not used to it. Second, you can gather feedback from the group afterward and find ways to improve your presentation.
Practically anyone can serve as a test audience. If you’re giving a presentation to clients, ask your coworkers to listen. For presentations to your employees, try the presentation out to your family and friends first. It’s better if you can find a test audience that can provide constructive feedback but really any audience will do.
Study Other Presentations
Another good way to improve your presentations is by studying others. Doing so can teach you how to give a good presentation and may give you some ideas for things to incorporate into your own presentation. To find other presentations to observe, try looking within your own business first. Are there other departments giving a presentation soon that you can sit in on? Does your manager have a presentation coming up that you can help out with?
Another option is to watch presentations online. You can find tons of example presentations on sites like YouTube. Pick out a few and take some notes as you watch along. If you can find presentations that are similar to your own, such as other client proposals, this will help even more.
Bring a Good Attitude
Finally, be sure you bring a good attitude to your presentation. Even if you prepare a lot and have excellent visual aids, a poor attitude can diminish the overall effect of your presentation. What does a good attitude look like? Start by acting positive and smiling whenever you can. If you’re nervous, try turning that nervous energy into enthusiasm. Audiences will often take on the attitude of the presenter, so focus on remaining positive and excited throughout the presentation for better results.
Taking the Time to Improve Your Presentations
Giving presentations is one of those things that are hard to improve outside of giving more of them. As you give more presentations you’ll grow more confident in your abilities. However, this doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to boost your initial successes and improve a little faster. By taking the time to prepare beforehand, through doing things such as finding better presentation software and practicing on a test audience, you’ll improve each of your presentations. These early successes will then contribute to your confidence, helping you to continue to get better as you go along.