Business Presentations that Rock

Business Presentations that Rock

Every small business owner wants to create an effective business presentation that hopefully runs as smoothly as possible. But why settle for smoothly? Why not have a business presentation that rocks, a business presentation that your employees will remember? You can easily accomplish this by following these tips on developing a good business presentation.

Start with an icebreaker.
Icebreakers relax the crowd and prepare everyone for a business presentation that will motivate and inspire.

Focus on preparation.
You want your presentation to be memorable, but you want it to be remembered for all the right reasons, not because you forgot your material and ran out of the room crying. The lesson is, although you want to make an exciting presentation, you also want to be well prepared and know your content. Do not get too caught up in creating a comical joke or elaborate game so that you wind up not focusing on your actual presentation. After all, icebreakers are bonuses to your business presentation, not the presentation.

Focusing on preparation also includes practice. There are very few people who can “just wing it” well and chances are you may not be one of them. If you decide to start with a joke, practice it on someone else first to make sure it really is funny. Make sure that the technology you use, such as PowerPoint, video, or audio, works. If you are presenting in a new room go a couple of days before your presentation and make sure you know how to work all of the technology you wish to use. If you are presenting at a different company, arrive early so you can quickly run through your PowerPoint before you begin. And always have a backup. What happens if the company you go to does not have a computer available in the room? Or the computer is a Macintosh and you only know how to use a PC? Make sure you know your content well enough to be able to present without the PowerPoint (or other technology).

Remember that you do not have to use technology to create a great presentation.
If you feel uncomfortable with the newest technology (and only know ELMO as a character from Sesame Street) relax! You can still spice up your presentation. Use poster boards or other props. A good tip is to use visuals because they draw your audience’s attention to your presentation. Just make sure that you do not go overboard with pictures and be certain that the graphics you do have are relevant to your content.

Have strong material content.
Cute pictures are great, but only if they are relevant and they have strong material to go along with them. Make sure that what you discuss is concise because no one wants to sit through hours of a business presentation, especially when it is tedious and repetitive.

Know your audience.
Whether you are speaking to the employees of your small business or presenting your brand, product, or service to another company will affect what you need to convey through your business presentation. For that reason, make sure you know your audience. This even applies for icebreakers because not every group has the same sense of humor and not every group is the same size. A poster board cannot take the place of a PowerPoint if your business presentation is in front of a group of 50 people. Thus, knowing your audience involves understanding the type of people you are presenting to (managers, CEO’s, future employees) and how large the group is (a team, a division, a whole company).

Involve the audience.
Icebreakers help do this but so can handouts. When you involve the audience your presentation is better remembered. You do want your audience to be able to recall what you taught, right?

Smile and rock that presentation!
Every presentation is going to be different. For example, when we started we had to supply our clients and partners with online business presentations to provide our partners with an understanding of what we could provide their company and how we promote the PEO industry. Your presentation might involve flying to a different city to present or presenting at midnight to a country halfway around the world through teleconferencing. Nonetheless, every presentation should include a smile. If your presentation is done through a conference call smile as you give the presentation so that the group on the other line hear a friendly tone, making them more inclined to listen.

Business presentations are like air, essential to survive. Have confidence in your abilities and follow the above tips to rock your next business presentation.

About the Author
Anthony Kelly is a frequent contributor to and has experience working for small businesses and employee leasing companies since 1997. He frequently writes about workers comp, PEOs, and other issues affecting the small business owner. 

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