Presentation Tips You Can Use in Your Next Business MeetingAssociation of Business Training
August 27, 2012 — 823 views
Almost every employee in every professional industry will have to attend or create a business presentation at some point. This person could be an architect proposing a bridge plan, an advertising expert asking for additional funding from an executive board or even a sales representative pitching a service to a potential customer.
In any case, there are a few universal tips one can follow when preparing to do any sort of business presentation. These best practices are outlined below.
Troy McClure said it the best in the popular television show "The Simpsons" - "Get confident, stupid!" Whether you are walking into a room full of strangers or friendly colleagues, you must portray an air of authoritative, friendly knowledge. Don't forget to shake hands and introduce yourself to everyone before actually beginning the presentation.
When you are speaking, talk in a clear, loud voice and enunciate each syllable. Remember not to jumble words together through rapid speech, and be sure to maintain eye contact with your audience - staring at a PowerPoint slideshow with your back turned is not going to impress anyone.
Every presentation can be improved through bright graphics and colorful bullet points. Breaking key themes down and projecting them visually can help you guide your audience in your intended direction even if you stray off topic. Obviously, programs like Microsoft PowerPoint are the best option, because their easy-to-use interfaces can be manipulated by beginners.
That being said, don't just read a paragraph from a slide - this is the most common mistake presenters make. The audience can already read what is on a screen, so there is no need to repeat this verbatim.
Ditch the notecards
Notecards are a great way to remind yourself of key points and figures, but the fact of the matter is that the most impressive presenters always speak without obvious reminders. The secret to this is coming up with subtle clues that will trigger your long-term memory.
For example, if there is a whiteboard in the room, you could add a few notes here and there, even something as simple as a red circle or black square. Each symbol can represent a part of your speech - because these images are "encoded" to you, no one else will be distracted by them.