Did you know that 79% of people believe that “Most presentations are boring”? This probably doesn’t come as a surprise if you operate in the business world.
We are inundated with mindless sales updates, marketing pitches, and training programs that are delivered in an underwhelming manner – leaving us scrolling through our Facebook feed, refreshing our email inbox, and searching for any other distraction we can find that will stimulate our brain as we sit in utter boredom.
Is this the impact you want to have when giving your next business presentation? Of course, it’s not the intention of any presenter to bore the audience. But too many professionals are under-trained, lacking confidence, or simply oblivious to what goes into a compelling presentation.
Here are 8 business presentation ideas that will help you buck the trend and inspire action from your audience.
01 Prepare like a professional
Preparing for a business presentation is a bit like conditioning your body for a sporting event. Professional athletes leave no stone unturned when it comes to training, diet, game strategy, and mental preparation so that they can perform at their peak abilities when game day arrives. If you have a similar approach to preparing for business presentations by designing, practicing, and mentally training your mind to deliver in the heat of the moment, you can expect to experience better results.
02 Don’t underestimate the impact of design
Designing a visually beautiful, easy-to-understand, and cohesive presentation requires a unique understanding of colors, fonts, psychology, and branding. If you’re not a design expert, seek the guidance of one, so you can establish a set of repeatable standards with your presentations that engage the audience visually. Ideally, your presentation will deliver the most amount of information possible, with the least amount of text.
For some inspiration on presentation design, check out our free pitch deck template here. You will notice the simplicity of the design and how we use a variety of visuals to convey our message. Here is one of the slides:
03. Become familiar with your arena
Why is it that sporting teams perform better when they play at a home venue? Yes, the crowd is weighted towards supporting their team. However, this isn’t the only factor. Each individual in that team is comfortable and familiar with the home venue, meaning that they can optimize their performance. To deliver a compelling business presentation, you need to be comfortable and familiar with your arena. Take some time before your presentation to survey the room, test your equipment, and identify any potential challenges with the space.
04. Be deliberate with your structure and messaging
Your presentation should aim to get across one key message. The way you structure your slides, design your visuals, and communicate your key points, must all support and reiterate the main message. This in itself is a hard thing to do, because explaining a complex topic with a simple and easy-to-understand message is challenging. But, if you overload your presentation with too many ideas, no one will remember any of them.
05. Use body language and voice projection to establish a presence
When conveying a message in a business presentation, a large portion of how that message is interpreted has nothing to do with your slides or the words coming out of your mouth. Body language, voice projection, spacial awareness, and eye contact all contribute much more meaning than many presenters realize. Strive to understand how these other communication triggers are being interpreted and prepare accordingly.
This video published by Business Insider reveals four powerful tips about body language when public speaking.
06. Manage your time by creating space
There is nothing worse than when a presenter suddenly realizes that they are almost out of time and rush through the last handful of slides as if they were unimportant in the first place. Each and every slide in your deck should be important and contribute to your key message. So, if this is the case, you can’t afford to skip and rush through any of your slides. This means it is essential that you simplify your presentation, strip out all the unnecessary content, and allow for additional time for when you present. This enables you to slow down and emphasize the most important points rather than rushing.
07. Make it actionable
Remember that “one” key message you are trying to convey? The best presentations reinforce this message throughout and also tie it neatly to an action step the audience can take. In reality, most people will leave a presentation with very little retention of the information conveyed. Even if you follow the best practices discussed in this article. Be cognizant of the ideal action you would like your audience to take after your presentation and focus all of your energy on making that a reality.
08. Ensure you improve every time
If you truly want to get better at presenting, every time you deliver a presentation there is an opportunity to gain valuable feedback which you can apply to your preparation next time. Try to enlist someone in the audience to monitor certain aspects of your presentation and have them provide constructive feedback. This works best if you ask an individual to focus on a specific aspect of your delivery, rather than getting generalized feedback about the whole presentation. For example, you could get them to analyze your body language and how it is being interpreted.
The business presentation ideas discussed above are by no means an exhaustive list or the ultimate guide to creating a high impact business presentation. However, they establish an adequate benchmark for measuring your current preparation and performance when it comes to presenting.
How do you stack up against these 8 best practices? Where could you step up your presentation game?