Presentations are a business staple. In fact, they are second only to email as the most commonly used business tool, and an effective business presentation separates the extraordinary from the average. So what’s the difference between a standard presentation and a great one? And how do you go from a static one-way presentation that numbs your audience to something truly memorable? The secrets are simple.
Foundation for Effective Business Presentations
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Clear the Clutter
Beware the temptation of flamboyance and excess. Content is king, and clarity is key. All too often presentations are a seemingly endless cascade of text and bullet points. Instead, give your audience manageable 140-character nuggets that will be remembered and discussed long after the presentation wraps up. Create meaningful messages that inspire (rather than tire) audiences, leaving them fully informed but eager to learn more.
Strike up a Conversation
Presentations are too often speech-like rather than conversational– filled with talking heads and mundane slides that the audience has to work to figure out. Effective business presentations appeal to the senses, generate conversation, and fuel involvement.
Quick Tips to actively encourage participation and interaction:
- Incorporate multimedia elements, such as YouTube clips or voice-overs, to stimulate discussion
- Include polling questions to gather real-time feedback.
- Use social media to get your guests chatting about live or webcast presentations.
- Offer tweetable, compact sound-bites for key takeaways that guests can share.
- Include a #hashtag to encourage real-time, active discussion.
- Include a twitter feed directly into your presentation so guests can follow the conversation and contribute.
Keep it Spicy
Punch up dull presentation slides with interactive elements that will engage your audience. You have access to a virtual buffet of online presentation makers that allow you to easily include assets such as video, high-definition photos, audio, polls, real-time feeds, and more.
It Takes a Village
Why fly solo when collaboration can help you take your presentation from good to great. Use presentation programs that allow you to share and gather feedback in real time from colleagues, team members, key stakeholders, prospects, or customers. The interaction gets others invested and creates a discussion that can move you to the next stage– whether it’s closing a deal or creating deeper engagement with customers.
Feast The Eyes
Appealing to visual senses adds to the experience of effective business presentations. A slide accompanied by a relevant image is sometimes all that’s needed to make a powerful statement.
Quick tips for gaining the visual edge:
- Choose images that clearly convey key points and messages.
- Use images of people to connect emotionally with your audience and draw them into the presentation.
- Extend the visual impact with your choice of background and font type.
- Choose a single color palette, and use it consistently throughout your presentation.
- Enhance a plain title with a different font.
But do be careful not to go overboard with too many visual elements. There is such thing as too much of a good thing!
Go Deep or Go Home
Are you embracing the power of reviews? Guest feedback provides real-time information on what is working well and what needs to be addressed, so be sure to include interactive elements that allow them to voice their opinions and offer feedback. Deep analytics can provide unprecedented insight into what your guests liked, and what they sent back. The more you know…
Whether you are preparing presentations for a conference or for use as a sales tool, don’t settle for standard. Keep a few simple secrets on hand and you can prepare like a pro and transform your presentations from ordinary to great.