We all know them, have sat through them, presented them and fallen asleep during them. Yep, good old business presentations.
You can picture it can't you? There's a meeting coming up where ''George'' is going to be presenting the new sales strategy and you're considering taking your laptop into the meeting so you can get through some of those less-important emails.
Business presentations hold a lot of value, yet we continue to present the same old format and content, in the same manner that we always do - KNOWING full well that we're going to put our audience to sleep.
Yes, you're guilty too!
So, we've used our awesome knowledge and unconquerable skills in business presentations to help you out next time you need to really, I mean REALLY ''WOW'' your audience.
1. Make the First 60 Seconds of Your Business Presentation Count
They say that your first 60 seconds of your business presentation is the difference between failure and success. Don't start out your presentation beating around the bush!
Get onto the subject immediately - grab your audiences attention! Statistics, facts, shocking figures - that's how you're going to get attention.
2. Don't Use Your Business Presentation Slides as Your Speech Card
Regardless of what a terrible public speaker you may think you are, your presentations slides are NOT there for you to read from. Only put important keywords, statements and facts into your business presentation slides.
3. Have a Conversation
To make sure that you have an impact on your audience and to ensure that you have their attention - engage them! Don't just talk to them. Business presentations are as much a conversation as any other human interaction.
You need to engage with your audience, make eye contact, ask them questions, have a conversation with them.
4. Practice makes Perfect
We've all heard it before, yes. But it goes for everything in life! You cannot be good at something unless you practice.
Especially because you will NOT be reading from your business presentation slides, you need make sure you have practiced what you are going to say, where you are going to engage your audience and even where you are going to answer questions.
5. Prepare for the Unexpected
There's always going to be that one critic, that no matter how brilliant your business presentaion is, that they are going to drill you about something.
Make sure that you are prepared - know your stuff and be ready to answer those unexpected questions.
6. Be Unique
Yes, it is possible! Be daring and different and don't go with the usual business presentation style. There are plenty of agencies out there that have the expertise and creativity to turn your ordinary presentation into something spectacular.
Remember, business presentations are there for a purpose. Some of the biggest decisions are made around business presentations and therefore it is VITAL to ensure that you get the right message across in the most compelling way possible.
It still amazes me how South Africa's top brands are getting away with such a mediocre level of PowerPoint Presentation.
These are brands who spend millions, sometimes hundreds of millions on advertising every year; yet when it comes to their PowerPoint Presentations, there's no budget spent at all.
The reason that this is so astonishing for me is that it's in the boardroom where major decisions are made; where the need to persuade and influence key decision makers takes place. Yet the materials being used don't reflect this.
Surely, if the stakes are high, the investment is achieving the goal needs to be made?
Now don't get me wrong, there are a handfull of companies that recognise the importance of powerful presentations, and they're doing some work. Most importantly they're making an impact on their audiences.
The majority however, are still creating PowerPoint presentations that are:
- Text intensive
- Low on visuals
- Message heavy
- All about the presenter or company, not about the audience
It's often the case that presenter or marketing department doesn't understand the true nature and intention of PowerPoint.
PowerPoint was not intended to be a crutch for the presenter. It was intended to complement the presenter. But unfortunately, the former has happenned.
The result - text heavy, cluttered slides that do little to engage or persuade.