Business isn’t just about reading the statistics and working through the numbers. To really succeed you have to be able to give an amazing presentation to your coworkers, your bosses, and future investors. Everything lands on those first couple minutes. To help you better your presentations and “wow” investors, here are 5 ways you can improve.
How To Give An Amazing Presentation
1. Practice Extensively Beforehand
The worst thing you could possibly do is to walk into a room without having practiced what you’re about to say. No one is good at winging it. What is shows to the people who are watching is that you don’t care enough and that you aren’t invested enough in that project to give them your best. If you want to give a fantastic presentation, then you need to practice before the day comes. Have every line of your speech memorized and put your personality into the words.
2. Never Tell a Lie
The average person lies 10 times a day, says Susan Carnicio, a former CIA officer. Not only is lying dishonest, but it’s also easy to spot in a presentation. When you start to lie, your body automatically begins to cover for you. Your conversation speeds up, you blink more, you talk louder, and you falter when questions are asked about the lies. None of which are good things during an important presentation. Any trained listener can spot a lie during the presentation and will call you out on it. The lies will make you look uncomfortable and unconvincing so never smudge a number or make up a statistic to appear for prestigious to your audience.
3. A Good Question Does A Lot
Your presentation doesn’t always need to have bold proclamations. Good thought-provoking presentations often require good questions. “Are you looking for the perfect used car?” or “Is it time to finally update that old kitchen?” can be intriguing. Audiences may choose to listen what follows the question for the answer. In the answer, there lurks a sales pitch readers can’t avoid.
Questions give people pause for thought. If the question speaks to them in some way, they will be inclined to look for the answer. This is another way to make sure your presentation stands out.
4. Follow the 10/20/30 Rule For Powerpoints
The 10/20/30 rule is a rule invented by Guy Kawasaki. The rule says to never have more than 10 slides, never have a presentation longer than 20 minutes, and never have a font size less than 30 on the powerpoint. The rule was created to maximize the attention span of the audience and to make presentations more effective. People begin to drift off during presentations that drag on too long and they get confused if there are more than 10 slides. You never want to make the audience work and strain their eyes to read what your powerpoint says. If you follow the 10/20/30 rule, you will have an audience that understands and cares about the information that you are presenting.
5. Focus on What Your Audience Needs
A presentation isn’t about what you need to hear but about what the audience needs to hear. Your presentation should win them over which cannot happen if they are not able to connect to the information and the ideas that you are trying to get across to them. While you are presenting, train yourself to notice the reaction of the audience. If they seem to love a certain point, then continue to bring it up and stress that part of the presentation. Similarly, if a topic is brought up and the audience shows a dislike for it, brush over it as quickly as you can. You want the audience’s needs to be met.
6. Remember the ABCs
Always Be Closing. Closing in a presentation really means that you are driving your point home. It allows the audience to see your intentions for them and how you want to move forward with the plans. To have an effective close, you have to continually bring up a close whether or not the presentation is nearing an end. To make your closes even more effective, you need to do more than just close. You have to repeat steps 1 through 4 and make sure that you know your audience so that you will know how to close to them. They want to feel like you care what they think. Make sure to brush up on effective closing techniques that will allow the presentation to end with a “wow” from your audience.
Finish your presentation with a smile and a thank you. Always be courteous and polite no matter how your presentation was received. You may have an opportunity in the future to see those people again and you will want them to remember at least that you respected them and that you respected their opinions.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty, personal development and fashion. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.