Poor presentation skills can cost businesses money, time, and even opportunities. For companies that rely on presentations to get new clients and secure investments, a lousy presentation could mean income loss or even business failure when stakes are high.
Unfortunately, many individuals do not have strong presentation skills that can help their business connect with potential clients, stand out from the competition, and give an excellent impression to industry leaders.
In one survey that observed how 1,500 professionals behaved during business presentations, for instance, analysts found that one in 25 people walk out of presentations that were too long. A quarter of the surveyed individuals also admitted falling asleep during the presentation because they were so uninterested in the presented material. Some even reported they were so disengaged by the business presentation; they chose to spend time browsing their phone.
So how do you create effective business presentations?
Capture Your Audience’s Attention
The first few minutes of your presentation is critical since this is your opportunity to capture attention and convince your audience to pay attention to the rest of your presentation. Here’s a tactic that often works: start the presentation with a story or anecdote about your business and then relate this to the audience. You can also cite news, figures, and statistics that interest your audience. A business presentation app on your mobile can make all this possible, even if you are carrying only a smart phone.
You need to establish credibility when making a business presentation, and one way to do this is to present materials that back up your claims. Show your audience evidence that your proposal works. You can reference research, provide statistics, and even quote respected figures to support the ideas you present.
Visualize Your Ideas
You can use business presentation apps to make your presentation more effective. Adding visuals to your message using electronic presentation programs can engage your audience and make your message easier to understand and apply.
Make sure that the colors and fonts you use in your slides are easy to see. Choose background and text colors with enough contrast. Arial and Calibri fonts are also easier to read when projected. Keep the fonts large enough so the people at the back of the room can still understand what is on the screen. You can also use images and videos to add variety to your presentation.
When you use a design theme or template, go for one that is appropriate for your audience. You should also remember that the audience does not like long presentations, so keep the number of slides to a minimum.
People love to listen to speakers who speak candidly and sound conversational, so this is something you should work on if you’re new to public speaking. If you’re not comfortable speaking to a large number of people, try to pick a friendly-looking person in the audience to speak to. Everyone will hear the same message, but you deliver it more confidently. Speak as if you were talking to a friend so your presentation will sound natural, not memorized or rehearsed.