As you develop your career in the business world, you are going to need to learn how to give business presentations that not only give great insights, but position you as an authority on the topic. Sadly, many people lack the confidence it takes to get up in front of an audience and will avoid this great opportunity. The fear of having to appear in front of colleagues at events or in the office can be overwhelming. However, there is a formula and ten basic steps to creating a compelling presentation. These steps will provide you with the knowledge and security to perform like many of the top professional speakers in the world.
- Believe in yourself
“The most critical factor of giving a presentation is your confidence and charisma” suggests Dan Smith of Keynote Speaker. “More than the information you are providing, people are buying in to you”.
You can avoid being scared to get up in front of the room by being well prepared. Prepare by going over your delivery, humor, content, and gestures in front of a mirror or friend is most beneficial.
- Ask yourself these questions
If you want everything to go well, then ask yourself these simple questions. They will provide you great insight on how you can improve your presentation:
- What’s the time limit?
- What’s the strong point of my message?
- Am I engaging?
- How can I persuade the audience?
- Is my message clear?
- Is the delivery the best?
- What do I want the audience to do when I am done?
- What do I want the audience to say about me?
Asking yourself these questions will also help you come up with a great way to start your presentation.
- Record yourself
It might be hard to listen to yourself, but all of the leading professional speakers do so. It is important that you learn how to self critique and be honest with yourself so that you can quickly develop your speaking skills. An audio or visual recording can help you to see odd gestures or flow of the presentation.
- Listen to the recording many times
Hearing is an easy way to memorize your speech. It also helps you work on your pitch and vocal tone.
- Make a videotape of the actual presentation
Watch it twice and make a “never do that again” list and good points you recognize.
Take deep breathes or look far ahead during the presentation.
- Don’t thank anyone at the beginning
Start like you’ re in the middle of a conversation.
- Dress to impress
First impressions are crucial. Make sure you dress in a way that makes you feel like a millions bucks.
- Use transferable concepts
They will engage the audience.
- Use power words
Have several signature words, phrases, and gestures. They also are engaging and make a compelling presentation.
These ten steps are easy to understand and can be applied to any situation producing a positive result. The most common reason people fail at presentations is they are nervous and it shows.
Joining a support group, like Toastmasters, may help with your compelling presentation skills. Contact a podcast and gain some free and anonymous confidence. “Your audience wants to get to know you, to like you, to have confidence in you, to believe you, to trust you, to understand you, to learn from you, to smile or laugh, and feel like you value them,” explains Sean Adams
Here are some more tips you can use to be a great speaker:
Remember the Insight
Most great ideas begin with an insight. Highlight that insight in your setup and make sure people understand it was the motivation for the idea. Great ideas make a connection and your ability to connect your idea to this insight gives you both common ground and a solid argument for why your idea is right.
Remember the Concept
Ideas are concepts that capture a set or words sometimes in combination with a picture that allows everyone an “aha” moment. Find that concept and keep it prominent to keep the link to your insight and all of the other ideas or communication that emerge from your concept.
Lyndon Johnson said, “What’s convincing is conviction.” You have to believe in your idea and present it with passion and commitment. Don’t be shy nor hesitant. You know it’s right and project that confidence without apology nor caveat.
Close the Deal
Make sure your audience understands the value of your idea and clearly connect it to their goals and objectives. Tell them and if possible, show them how your idea will make their business, enterprise or initiative better. Back up your compelling presentation up with facts to the degree possible.
Manage the Objections
There’s a “Doubting Thomas” in every room. Come prepared and try to anticipate objections with facts, case-histories and continuing passion. It’s rare that everyone in a room will agree with you, but if you can support your case for your idea in spite of objections it will strengthen the resolve of those who agree with you.
Not every presentation will be a Grand Slam, but you can hit a few more home-runs if you plan, stay true to your insight, remember the concept and demonstrate genuine passion for the idea.