Presentations are always a nerve-wracking affair, especially when doing them for an audience of people that could get you fired. But we’re here to help assuage your fears. Click here to learn how to rock your next business presentation.
Are your business presentations a bore? Do you get nervous and anxious before giving a presentation?
If you said yes to either, that’s normal and common. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
You want your presentation to impress your bosses and wow your peers. It should show that you know your stuff and your ideas are valuable. You should ooze composure and knowledge.
There are lots of different ways you can take your presentation from boring to stellar. Keep reading for 10 tips to rock your business presentation.
1. Be Prepared
Fight the urge to procrastinate when it comes to presentation prep. As soon as you know you’ll be giving a presentation, start working on it. Being prepared helps with anxiety and nerves.
Once you know what you’re going to say, start practicing. Present in front of your mom, your grandparents, your friends, etc. The more you say it, the more natural it’ll come.
This will also give your support system a chance to give you feedback. They can tell you if you’re standing awkwardly or need to clarify any points.
People relate to each other through stories. If you’re pitching an idea, approach it from a human perspective, not only with numbers.
Start by discussing the problem your idea will solve. How has this problem affected you? Has it affected people in the room watching your presentation?
Using empathy will make you more likable to the audience. It makes you seem relatable and trustworthy- which is how you want them to view you.
3. Accommodate the Audience
Introverts and extroverts value different aspects of presentations. Some audience members love interactive games or activities. Other audience members will feel uncomfortable with them.
It’s best not to focus too much on either side. Remember your presentation is about them. Your goal is for the audience to enjoy it, learn something, and trust you.
Spend some of your presentation time lecturing, and also do something interactive for part of it.
4. Use Your Voice
Your voice can make or break your presentation. Nervous presenters often talk too fast, mumble, or trip over their words. They also add upward inflection at the end of their sentences.
When you’re practicing, have someone pay close attention to your voice. Ask them how your tempo, volume, and emphasis were. Once you become aware of your speaking habits, they’re easy to work on.
Your audience is full of visual and auditory learners. To target the visual learners, use awesome visuals.
PowerPoint is a popular tool for presentations. Don’t be afraid of adding pictures, animation, and moving text to spice things up. Your ideas aren’t boring, so neither should be your slides.
If your presentation needs charts, you should learn more about how Excel can help.
6. Rule of Three
As you write your speech outline, limit all points to three bullets. This means that for every idea you present, there are no more than three points about it.
Audience members are not going to remember more than three key points. Make it easy for them by being clear and concise with your main ideas.
Sometimes overexplaining an idea causes it to get lost in the jargon. An awesome idea should be easy to explain and convey to the audience.
7. Simple Slides
Make your presentation less stressful for yourself by simplifying your slides. You don’t need to have ten different features appear on each slide. It’ll cause you to focus too much on timing those features and less on being present.
Your slides should be clear, organized and easy to navigate. The order of pop-ups and slide-ins should coincide with your talking points.
Remember that no one is going to read a wall of text on your slides. Summarize your points concisely on the PowerPoint so that the audience gets the gist.
8. Use Comedy Sparingly
Having a sense of humor makes you likable and fun to listen to. But, there’s a line you shouldn’t cross.
Too many jokes can make your audience not take you seriously. They’ll see you as entertainment, not someone with worthwhile ideas.
Don’t write any jokes into your speech.
Instead, allow humorous moments to arise naturally. Engage with audience members’ humor, but focus your presentation on your killer ideas. It’s better to come across as professional than as funny.
9. Body Language
When the audience isn’t paying attention to your words, they’re noticing your body language. Are you leaning against something? Are your hands at your sides?
The way you hold your body says something about your confidence. If you look awkward and uncomfortable, the audience may think that you’re unprepared. Or, that you don’t know enough about your topic.
Practice standing with good posture, weight spread evenly to each foot. Your arms should be relaxing at your side or engaged in gestures.
10. Find a Friend
Eye contact is super important for your presentation. Consider having a colleague-friend sit in the middle section of the room where you can see them.
Having someone you trust and feel comfortable with there can ease your nerves. When you feel yourself getting nervous, look over at your friend. An encouraging smile from a friendly colleague can be all you need to stay on track.
Want More Business Presentation Tips?
You have the tools and resources you need to give a killer presentation. All you need to do is practice and make sure you’re catering to your audience.
Also, feeling confident is half the battle. You’ll feel more confident when you practice, know your stuff, and design a rocking presentation.
If you’re preparing for a business presentation, use the ten tips above to impress the audience and explain your awesome ideas. For more information on giving presentations, branding, and building a business, check out the blog.