Preparing for a business presentation can be daunting, especially if you don’t have much experience with public speaking. Appearing professional and getting your point across effectively may be easy in your everyday life, but it is an entirely different ball game in the public speaking arena. However, as with most challenging tasks, the best way to get better is with practice. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or it is your first time speaking in front of a group, here are 5 ways to give a better business presentation.
Before you even start talking about the contents of your presentation, your audience will likely be wondering: Who is this person and why are they qualified to be speaking to me today? Eliminate those questions by establishing your credibility and expertise on the topic at hand. You don’t need to go into your entire career history, but a quick anecdote on your background relating to the presentation topic can make all of the difference. If there are any experiences that have shaped the events leading to the presentation or crucial references that support the information, now is a good time to share them.
In order to grasp their attention from the beginning, it is helpful to establish collective goals with your audience to make them feel more connected with the presentation. Additionally, know the goal of the presentation will encourage them to follow along and relate the information you share back to that particular purpose. It will also help you stay on track with your message by keeping that main goal in mind.
After establishing your professional credibility, it is important to maintain credibility in the information you present. While references are crucial, a tool to help all of the information resonate with the audience is the support of visual material. While powerpoint is very popular, print materials also go a long way. Handing out brochures, flyers, or presentation folders with resources will give the members of your audience a tangible item to help them follow along. Not only that, but print materials can be great takeaways after the presentation has finished leaving an even longer-lasting impression. Learn about the print materials Japan Print offers to supplement your presentation.
A good way to keep your audience engaged is to throw in a few rhetorical questions where appropriate to make your audience think. In order to do this effectively, you must consider the audience you are presenting to and what would make them wonder. Be sure to phrase the questions in a way where you eventually lead your presentation to the answers.
A good presentation does not stop at the information you rehearse beforehand. It is a good practice when presenting to leave time for a Q&A portion at the end to ensure a strong finish. In order to successfully conduct a Q&A, try thinking beforehand of difficult questions that may come up. Plan around your audience and what you think they may ask that would challenge the information or goals that you share. Conversely, you should also prepare questions to ask yourself and answer if no one volunteers to engage.