Small Business: How To Make A Five Minute Presentation
Public speaking expert Vera Hughes is here to tell us how best to approach a five minute business presentation to sell yourself and your business.
Step 1: Prepare
Every audience is different and needs a slightly different approach. Consider your anticipated audience. To do this write down what your audience may know already, what you want them to know, and what you want them to do
You will want to highlight what your business is offering and what sets it apart, such as flexibility, competitive pricing, or high quality consultancy.
In five minutes you won't have time to use a powerpoint presentation, but you might be able to show an example of your work such as the design, or some stock if you are launching a retail business. If this is your first presentation you might want to jot down your main points on colour coded cards. They will help to keep you concise and on track. Make sure you write big enough so your notes can be easily read.
Assemble as many fliers, cards and brochures as you will need.
Step 2: Rehearse
Rehearse in front of a mirror or a friend, and time yourself so that you become familiar with how much information you can communicate within the allotted time. Make sure to use your props or examples.
Step 3: Appearance
If you can, wear a colour that contrasts with the background of the meeting room. A man in a white shirt in front of a white screen tends to disappear.
Choose your footwear carefully. Shoes reveal a lot about you, and they also play a part in how you stand and walk. Choose a smart comfortable pair that help you walk tall and confidently.
Step 4: Making your Presentation
Check the time so you know when to finish. Remember to stick to the allotted time.
Take a deep breath to steady your nerves.
Stand tall and balanced, with your head up.
Don't lean on the furniture, and don't fidget.
Say your name and business clearly.
Hold your cards in one hand. If you put them on the table you will talk to the table instead of your audience.
Embrace the group. Turn your head and body to all sides of the group. There's often a 'nodder' in the group and it is very tempting to talk exclusively to someone who seems to agree with you.
Speak slowly, clearly, and make your two or three main points with a slight pause between each.
Demonstrate as appropriate.
Refer to your printed promotional material but do not hand them out. Do that before you begin or at the end as this disruption will drastically cut into your allotted time.
Finish on a positive note with a call to action.
Step 5: Follow up
Hand out your fliers and business cards as appropriate. Have a pen and notebook handy to write down contacts, queries and so on. Make sure you follow these up within 48 hours.