If you’re a professional, you’re a presenter.
Whether it’s to an audience of one or thousands, your business day is full of potential presentations.
- Pitching a new project or idea to a boss
- Pitching a product or service to a potential client
- Being in front of a networking group to promote your services
- Stepping on stage at a conference to share your expertise on an industry topic
The question is are you a well-prepared and confident presenter?
At Business Solutions Unlimited we’ve been asked many times to make presentations. Sometimes it’s on a particular business topic of interest at a local business networking group. Other times, it’s a conference call with slides presented to scattered groups of people across the nation.
The ability to make these presentations and clearly communicate our message has garnered business. It’s also led to us helping our clients present their message to their clients. Below, we share helpful tips on how you can become a pro at presentations.
By-the-way, if you’re needing some presentation preparation help, we’ll be happy to assist. Just call us at (904) 429-4588.
Preparation is Key to Presentation Confidence
Something to keep in mind is that every presenter is nervous, even the most accomplished ones. The degree of nervousness adjusts with the amount of preparation in advance of the presentation.
The first step in preparation is to understand what you’re presenting. Ask yourself, “What is this presentation about?” Then summarize the presentation in a sentence or two.
Know Your Audience
Understand the audience you’ll be in front of.
- What do they already know?
- What do they want to know?
- What information will help them?
- How do they like to be presented to?
Write down what you want your audience (of one or more) to get out of the presentation. Is it building awareness of your product, services or topic? Is it motivation to take action (make a purchase, sign up for something, etc.)?
Knowing your audience and what you want the audience to know at the end of your presentation helps to create a roadmap. This will help you gather and communicate relevant information that will motivate the results you’re seeking.
Know Your Venue
Understanding where you’ll be presenting is an important factor in preparation.
- If it’s an office, will you have a table to place a laptop or collateral materials down?
- If it’s a networking group or auditorium, will you have a podium to speak from and an area to place collateral materials?
- What are the technical capabilities of the location—does it have projection capabilities or will you have to bring a computer and projector?
- If a phone conference, will everyone be able to call in or log into your presentation?
Location preparation is vitally important to a successful presentation. If you’re challenged with the location logistics, then consider delegating to a Virtual Assistant firm like Business Solutions Unlimited to handle them for you.
Understand How You’ll Present
Once you know your audience and what you’ll present, you need to determine the appropriate presentation method.
- If one on one, would a laptop PowerPoint presentation or a table flip book be best?
- If presenting to a group, will a PowerPoint presentation be appropriate or will people follow along with handouts?
Knowing what you’re presenting, who you’re presenting to, and how you’ll be presenting can help squelch your nervousness and give you information you need to organize your presentation.
Organize Appropriate Presentations and Materials
By knowing your audience, you’ll be able to confidently organize your presentation in ways they’ll be receptive to your message.
By knowing what you want your audience to know at the end of your presentation, you’ll be able to organize the opening and body that leads to your conclusion or call to action.
This gives you insights into your:
- Presentation structure
- Order of facts and data
- Graphics and visual aids
- Relevant examples and anecdotes
You’ll also be able to craft visual aids appropriate to your topic and the audience.
Keep in mind that effective PowerPoint presentation slides tend to be brief and visual.
Your collateral materials should be complementary to your presentation. Are colors and graphics consistent? Do your materials enhance your message?
This is where enlisting the aid of Virtual Assistants can be useful. They can help develop your PowerPoint slides and materials while you focus on the message you want to communicate.
Don’t Forget the Travel, Invite, Setup and Follow Up
While being totally focused on crafting your presentation, it might be easy to forget the logistics.
Do you need to send out an invitation to your audience? Maybe it’s setting up an appointment to meet a client. Or, maybe you need to send out a mass email invitation to a group requesting an RSVP.
Is your presentation local or out of town? Don’t forget your travel arrangements.
Will the venue where you’ll be presenting be fully prepared for your arrival? If you’re hosting an event, do you need to arrange catering?
After the presentation, are you prepared to follow up? It could be as simple as mailing a thanks-for-attending card or an email requesting further communications.
A successful presentation has many moving parts. That’s why delegating tasks can be an effective method of making sure all components of your presentation are well prepared.
Too Busy? Delegate Your Tasks
In our experience, successful professionals are experts at their business. However, it’s easy for busy professionals to take on way too many tasks. Many of these tasks might not even be part of their expertise.
In regards to presentations you might understand the topic, but how much knowledge and time do you have to put toward making effective PowerPoint slides or accompanying marketing materials? Are you ready to tackle event planning, email invites and follow-ups?
Find out how delegating tasks to a virtual assistant firm like Business Solutions Unlimited can help you achieve better presentations.
Feel free to give us a call at (904) 429-4588; to discuss how we can help you with your business tasks and goals.