How To Give A Business Presentation
How To Give A Business Presentation
It's time to show how you get down to business as you give a business presentation. But the most important objective is to get your colleagues or clients to listen to you.
Hi. I'm Simon Bucknall and in 2008, I won the European Championship of Public Speaking. At the Art of Connection, we help ambitious professionals to connect with their audience and we do it by bringing world class communications expertise into the training room to enable our clients to persuade, influence and inspire others.
Delivering an effective business presentation can be one of the most stressful experiences any professional goes through and trust me, I've been there. But what many people make a mistake of doing is focusing on and worrying about themselves when giving the presentation whereas your business colleagues or perhaps it's clients or customers, those people that are listening, they're not interested in whether or not you or I, whoever's speaking, is nervous. What they're interested in and the question that they're asking themselves is this one simple thing.
Why should I be listening to this? Now, if you're going to give an effective business presentation, you need to get across a good answer, a compelling answer, to why it's important for them to listen to you early on. Why should they listen to you? Now, you want to do that in any number of ways. You might outline, for example, pain that they're experiencing within their business if you can identify it or maybe it's an opportunity that you think might benefit the business.
I don't know what the reason is but you need to find something that has your business colleagues, clients or customers thinking, “Aha! I need to listen to this.” So, once you've got it, if you're like with them, the what-in-it-for-me answer, you can then move on to step two of preparing a business presentation and that's to identify what evidence you need, what are the resources and ideas, to support whatever it is that you're looking to achieve with the presentation, and that takes time. The key thing here is to ensure that you don't overload your audience.
Let's be honest, we've all been there. We sat there in the audience and we're being deluded with information, statistics and charts, it's as if the presenter is standing there and saying, “Look how much I know. Look how much information I have.
” We don't care. All we need to know is enough evidence to support the point you're trying to make. Step three involves a technique that I would like to call storyboarding.
Steven Spielberg is used to the great effect over the years with his films and what it does is to help ensure that you have a smooth flow throughout your presentation and enabling your audience to follow you more easily and here's how it works. All you need is a big open space. Maybe it's a table, or you can even do it on the floor, and a big deck of A4 sheets.
And this is particularly useful if you're giving a slide presentation and here's how it works. You take the deck of A4 and write out the key ideas, the points you are seeking to make in your presentation. So for example, if you are using slides, you might even print out the individual slides and lay them out on that space in front of you and then step back and take a good look at the overall flow because what you should find or what you're looking for is for each slide or each sheet of A4 to follow on logically for the one that goes before.
If you do that, you'll not only ensure that you have a smooth flow, you'll also ensure that the audience can follow your logic more easily. So, those are the keys to giving an effective business presentation because it really does lie in the preparation. Answer that question, “Why should I listen to this?” because that's what every business audience is going to be thinking whether they're junior or senior.
Secondly, gather the resources and the evidence that you need to support your answer to that question and then finally, storyboard your presentation so that the ideas link and flow in a smooth and intelligible way. .