For a Great Business Presentation, Hit Them With Sizzle From the Start
Business presentations tend to succeed or fail in the first few minutes. The audience decides quickly whether they will be active and engaged or sit back with their eyes glazed over. The social media generation demands some excitement to hook them early.
A great business presentation will often use a storytelling approach.
First, open your presentation with a gripping testimonial. Tell your own story, talk about a remarkable sales spike, or share the thorny obstacles you’ve overcome to realize your goals.
Your first aim is to enthrall your audience with your passion and vision for your business. Tell them why they should care about your product or service with anecdotes and colorful examples.
Next, the Red Meat
A traditional sales pitch—puffing up your product—will make your audience bored and wary. Instead, show—don’t tell—why your product or service shines.
Research gives red meat to your presentation. The audience is here to learn, and facts will give them something solid to chew on. Gather information about profit potential, recent sales figures, and details about your product that make it unique. Facts don’t have to be dull. You can use infographics, charts, and photos of satisfied customers to enliven your presentation
The middle of your presentation should have weighty facts:
- A summary of your business
- What need it fills in the marketplace
- Analysis of the competition
- Your marketing strategy
- Why your business model is exceptional
Thrill Them With Technology
The format of your presentation should make people sit up and take notice, not lull them to sleep. Powerpoint is a classic presentation tool, but there are many other stellar tech tools to choose from these days. Most people are visual learners and tend to remember video better than text. So, limit the text in your presentation—you want people to listen to you, not stare at a screen.
Instead, consider using a short video. Fast-moving images will hold audience attention and draw them in. Use modern, funny memes in presentation slides. Choose colorful, rich photos to illustrate your points and draw the eye.
Here are some cutting-edge presentation tools available online:
- Powtoon (turns your presentation into a cartoon)
- Adobe Spark Voice (creates animated videos)
- Haiku Deck (creates designer-quality slides with novel layouts and image filters)
When it comes to style, we’ve all seen the overly-practiced or nervous, wooden style of business presentation. But if you want people to join your team or buy your product, they need to bond with you. That means you have to be yourself.
It’s true that practicing will help your presentation go more smoothly. Rehearsing can turn a timid presentation into a bold one. But that doesn’t mean you need to sound memorized. Instead, go with the flow and act natural.
Is the audience looking bored? Speed that part up. Are they engaging with an idea? Slow down, ask questions and get a discussion going. It’s hard to predict how an audience will react, so try to be fluid, relaxed, and think on your feet. Tell a joke if the opportunity comes up. Ask people for their names. Make it real and engage, engage, engage.
Seal the Deal
Your audience has been patiently listening to your presentation. Now, it’s time to ramp up their interest and spur them to action.
A good way to close your presentation is with an audience Q&A. Now the audience gets to participate. Field their questions and show off your expertise. Share your hard-learned strategies for success. Find out what’s on their minds, and address their concerns and ideas.
Sealing the deal doesn’t always mean a hard-core sales pitch at the end. If you’ve done your presentation right, you’ve already established your authority and motivated people to join your team. Now, let them know how to reach you.
Share your contact information. Hand out brochures and cards with social media links. Most importantly of all, get personal. Shake some hands, look people in the eye, and make one-on-one connections. After all, it’s your passion and charisma that make them want to reach out and join forces, sharing in your success.