When you make a corporate presentation, there’s a lot more at stake than there is with an internal one. Get it right, and you might win your company a major new client. Get it wrong, and it’s back to the drawing board – and perhaps an appointment with a grim-faced boss.
Here are my top ten tips for getting it right.
1. Be clear about objectives
What is the purpose of the presentation? What are you trying to achieve with it? What do you want the audience to take away from it? This will help you ditch any padding or irrelevancies and keep it sharp.
2. Look at it from the audience’s viewpoint
They don’t care about how wonderful you think you are, the size of your offices or your impressive client list. They want to know what you can do for them, how you can make their lives easier. Tell them.
3. Less is more
Many corporate presentations make hundreds of points – which means that most of them will be lost. Worst, people will take different points away with them. Focus on the key points and there’s a lot more chance of getting them across.
4. Make the abstract concrete
One of the best ways of doing this is to tell stories, present case studies. This allows you to focus on the real benefits, cost savings or efficiency gains you helped someone achieve. Suddenly it’s practical, relevant – and real.
5. Solve problems
Nobody out there cares about the features your product has, or the strengths and experience of your team. What they do care about is what your product or team can do for them.
6. Don’t knock the competition
Attacking or trying to undermine your rivals is a strategy of weakness, and is seen as unattractive whether it’s done by business people or politicians. Keep it positive. If you come across as a great company, the opposition is irrelevant anyway.
7. Look at things differently
Get in under your audience’s guard by coming up with different twists, unusual facts, a new angle. For example, the fact that life assurance is an important form of protection for families is trite. The fact, recently uncovered by a study, that people spend more money per day on coffee than life assurance, is fresh and thought-provoking.
8. Use a professional presenter
If possible, this is one of the best investments you can make. It’s the same difference as using professional photographs rather than stock shots on your website. The delivery should then become arresting, engaging and far more assured.
9. Practise your delivery
If you can’t hire a professional, focus especially on these last two points. First, make sure you practise, practise and practise some more. The time to do this is before the presentation, not during it. Use dry runs to eliminate rambling, cut out strange body language and stiffness, and boost your confidence.
10. Use eye contact
Pick a few friendly faces and address your remarks to them, moving between them after short phrases. This allows you to talk directly to the audience rather than talking at them – or even worse, lecturing to them.
By David Vickery
The best way to get your message across and to enagage your audience is by telling stories!
It’s wonderful to see people sharing their knowledge on presentations… in hope to rid the world of bad presentations.