A powerful business presentation can be a turning point in your career. A little stumble and your presentation is just one more in the never-ending string of quickly forgotten meetings.
When presenting inside the company, whether for your co-workers, employees, or boss, there are a series of good practices to follow. Today, we’re going to focus on four points you can’t ignore if you want to perform a powerful presentation.
1. Show up earlier and prepare your material
Being late or struggling with the computer or projector is highly unprofessional. Go to the meeting room as early as you can, and make sure everything is functioning correctly. This helps avoid disaster, but what comes next packs the punch.
Meet your audience when they arrive, greet them, make them feel comfortable – it helps to make yourself comfortable as well. Make sure they feel it’s essential for you to have them there. Find out what they expect to learn in the meeting, so you can make sure you are presenting the right information.
2. Start Strong and Establish Goals
You are not there to make a beautiful speech about how good and interesting you are as a person. You’re there to present a project, an idea, to discuss a problem, etc. They want to know what it is and why they should be there.
You can start by shocking them with some statistic or tell a small story, but quickly establish why this meeting is happening. What you intend to achieve with it? From the beginning, your audience will feel a sense of purpose and will be more engaged.
Establishing goals and sharing them with your audience also ensures more productive Q&A sessions. They know the crucial points and more easily spot their doubts.
Using PowerPoint slides became a standard for most presentations. As speaker, you may feel protected by them. However, your slides can be responsible for ruining your performance if you don’t use them properly.
Visual aides are a helpful tool for the audience. It helps them focus and follow your ideas. Never turn your back on the team to look at your slides or read directly from your PowerPoint. They are for the audience, not for you.
When making your slides, avoid bullet points. Prefer images, and a small text when needed. The information delivered in images is more likely to be remembered than a list of bullet points.
4. Q&A Sessions
When you are making a presentation for a group of strangers, they can feel intimidated to ask questions, but this is YOUR team. Perhaps your boss, or your possible investors, and you are asking them to do something. Be prepared for tough questions.
The Q&A session is very powerful in determining the success of your presentation. Make the most of it. Study your topic to the exhaustion and be ready for difficult questions. Your answers will make a difference in your audience’s evaluation of the presentation.
If possible, don’t let the Q&A close your presentation. Make a quick conclusion, summarizing the main ideas, so your audience keeps them in mind.
Building your career
Your career progression depends on standing out of the crowd, and the competition is tough. A powerful presentation, in the right moment, can be a stepping stone to a promotion or lead you closer to your goals.
Follow these tips to improve your presentations and create an impact inside the company. By doing it, you look more reliable and trustworthy.