How can I create a great business presentation for my next meeting?

Business News | 7 May |

Did you know that having good presentation skills is essential to your career success? And that 4 out of 5 people lose focus and check out halfway through a presentation?

The good news is, there are a few tips you can use to create a presentation that is informative and effective without boring your audience. If you are giving a business presentation, here are some tips to help you captivate and wow your audience.

Know Your Audience and Their Needs

The first step in creating a great business presentation is to understand your audience and their needs. Some things to consider are:

• What are their pain points around the subject you are presenting?

• How can your presentation help them with those pain points?

• How can the information you’re presenting help them be more effective or more productive in general?

• What is their level of understanding about the subject? How can you raise their level of understanding?

By using your audience’s interests, level of understanding, pain points, beliefs, and attitudes, you can speak to them directly and make sure your presentation addresses their needs.

Set Goals for Your Presentation

After getting to know your audience, you should set a presentation goal. Your goal will act as a guide for creating your presentation. It will also help you focus on what the attendees will be getting out of your presentation.

Typically, your presentation goal will fall into one of the following categories:

• To motivate or inspire action

• To inform

• To convince or persuade

• To educate

• To activate

• To entertain

For example, if you are presenting a new system, your goal could be to convince the attendees of the benefits of the new system and why they should use it. If you are providing information, your goal could be to inform the attendees about how to be more productive and efficient with their workload.

By setting goals and achieving them, you will know you gave a successful presentation.

Plan Your Content

Planning out your content is essential for making sure you include all of the important information necessary for you to give a complete presentation. Your plan should focus on addressing your audience’s needs and presenting your message engagingly and interestingly.

One of the best ways to do this is to tell a story.

Stories help people connect with the information you are giving them, much more than simply stating boring statistics, research results or academic points. People love to immerse themselves in stories, they love to root for a hero and anticipate the fall of a villain.

By planning out your content in story form, you can create a bond with your audience and keep them interested, all while delivering an informative presentation.

Use Readable Fonts

You can have the most interesting presentation ideas and the most organized slides but if your audience cannot read the information, what is the point?

While using creative fonts may make your presentation look great, you want it to be effective as well. Using readable fonts will help the attendees be able to read the information without having to guess at certain words or spend time trying to decipher an un-readable font.

Make it easy for your attendees to ensure your success.

Use Contrasting Colors

Having good presentation ideas is ideal but how you present them is half of the battle. Your color scheme can be the determining factor in your audience checking out and staying focused on your presentation.

Use light backgrounds with darker fonts. Your backgrounds don’t have to be white, but a lighter background is usually easier on the eyes and easier to read.

Use Quality Graphics

Viewing presentation slides with walls of texts will quickly become boring for your audience. Break up the text and add some interest to your presentation by using a few graphics. Consider using:

• Photos

• Charts

• Graphs

• Videos

• Animations

These graphics will add points of interest to what would otherwise be a boring, text-only slide. You can find a variety of interesting graphics by using a simple Google image search.

Use the 10-20-30 Rule

The 10-20-30 rule was created by Guy Kawasaki to help those who create business presentations. The 10-20-30 rule stands for:

• 10 or fewer presentation slides and concepts

• 20 minutes of presentation and the rest of the time for discussion or Q&A

• 30 point font size so you are not adding too much information to each slide

By using the 10-20-30 rule, you are ensuring your audience is not overwhelmed with information, has plenty of time for a follow-up discussion and can read what you put on each slide. The 10-20-30 rule is a great one to follow to deliver a successful presentation.

Practice Your Presentation

Once you have created a great presentation, you should practice it to make sure you know the information inside and out.

Nothing is worse than fumbling during your presentation or getting stuck because you have blanked on the information. While practice doesn’t actually make things perfect, you can get to the point where you are comfortable with the information and know the order of the slides by memory.

At the end of the presentation, you may have to answer a few questions so it’s best to prepare and add that to your rehearsal. Make a list of the common questions around the subject and be sure to write down or memorize the answers.

Avoid over-practicing as you don’t want to sound robotic.

Relax and Allow Yourself to Give a Great Presentation

Ultimately, the best way to prepare for your presentation is to release the nerves and anxiety and do your best. You have created a plan to speak directly to your audience, created a presentation with engaging visuals and practiced your presentation until you know it like the back of your hand.

From this point, trust yourself and your skills, and know that you will deliver a great presentation.

Create a Great Business Presentation That Impresses

By implementing these tips, you can create a business presentation that is memorable and effective.

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