It is a fact of life for most small business owners that at some point in time, they’ll have to deliver a presentation. It may be to investors, clients, vendors, or simply your team, but regardless of the audience, you need to make sure you’re ready to wow whoever is sitting in front of you. After all, a great first impression is a major step towards successfully delivering a message.
Even so, making a business presentation isn’t always the easiest task. It may be tempting to think you can just add some text to a PowerPoint presentation and be done with it, but that would be doing yourself a huge disservice.
Business presentations should show the world how well-prepared, organized, and amazing you and your company are. To make sure you impress your next audience, follow these simple steps to create an amazing presentation!
“Know who you are, and focus,
Always remember what your company stands for.”
Before you start worrying about how to make it look amazing, your presentation needs to sound great. For many people, making a presentation is just a matter of finding the information needed and putting it on a slide. This may be fine for some, but it also means that listeners may find themselves dozing off or confused about what’s being presented.
The first step in making a presentation great is thinking about its flow; what’s the story you’re telling?
This doesn’t mean you should turn your business into a work of fiction, but that you must think about how all the information you’re presenting flows the best. Consider what your goal is and what your presentation aims to achieve.
By thinking of your destination, it’s easier to start thinking of the best path to arrive there. Before putting words on slides, consider the structure, flow, and overall theme of your presentation. This way, you’ll keep your audience interested, and you’ll more easily remember and deliver a great presentation!
Begin by crafting a mission statement that can stand the test of time. Remember, no matter what size your company is, your mission will always remain the same. Therefore, if your values are well-defined, and your mission is clear, growing your brand becomes significantly easier when attempting to scale.
At its core, a presentation should be about what you’re saying and how it matters to the people to whom you’re speaking. What it shouldn’t be about, by any means, is the slides behind you. When you’re delivering a presentation, it’s important that your audience is always focused on you and having too much going on in a slide will detract from that aspect.
Instead, go minimalistic. Forget about writing full sentences and paragraphs into a slide. Don’t even worry about writing full phrases. Slides should only serve to reinforce what you’re saying, and to give your audience a quick way to keep up with your presentation.
Keep slides down to 3 bullet points, and if you can, replace your text with visuals. Audiences have been shown to react well to visual cues, and a bold graph or illustration is a great attention-getter. Being too text heavy can result in the audience reading directly off the slides instead of paying attention to what you’re saying.
When you’re presenting something, you want your audience to be engaged completely with what you’re saying. If your presentation is just a blank slide with some text, you’re going to see a lot of glazed-over eyes and people looking at their phones.
The best cure for distraction? A bold style.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the norm when you’re making your presentation, but make sure you find a balance between bold and clutter.
Consider using techniques like bold, flat colors and contrasting between backgrounds and fonts. Times New Roman is good, but finding an easy-to-read font that’s also fun, like Helvetica, is even better.
Moreover, forget about traditional slide layouts. Have big words in one slide, and images with smaller text in the next. Don’t be afraid to keep things varied and interesting, and you’re sure to keep your audience’s eyes trained upon you and thoroughly engaged.
You’ve put in hours making sure your logo design is amazing and your brand captures your business’ essence. Now is the time to let it shine. Being bold and choosing great colors can also mean having fun with your brand’s color palette and finding creative ways to integrate it into your presentation.
Don’t be afraid to include items like your logo on a slide, or even all of them.
If your presentation is a tool to inform people about your company, then your brand is a vital part of that messaging. Think about how your presentation will represent your company’s values. Are you fun and laid back? Your presentation’s design should be bold and unorthodox.
If your company is focused on putting forth a professional image, your brand will help transmit that characteristics. You don’t need to make it too overt, but everything you do should always be on message, and incorporating your brand is the easiest way to accomplish this feat.
In the end, a presentation isn’t for you, but for the audience sitting in front of you. When you’re presenting, it’s important that you’re always speaking to your audience, and not looking away from them to see what’s behind you. The best way to do this is to know your stuff.
It can be distracting to your listeners if you’re constantly turning around to see the slides being presented or looking down at notes you furiously scribbled before walking in the room.
By focusing on building bullet points instead of complete sentences, it will help the language feel naturally instead of confined and forced, giving it more of a conversational feel instead of sounding like a lecture.
Take time before your presentation to understand what you’re presenting, and to figure out the best possible way to deliver it. Practice your presentation in front of the mirror, your spouse, or even your dog, but make sure that you can recite it back and forth, and you feel confident about it.
When you’re standing in front of your audience, confidence will give you credibility, and make your presentation more impactful.