Making a new business presentation can be extremely difficult — whether you’re a seasoned executive or just starting out. However, you can make your presentations more successful (and more enjoyable) by following these six tips:
- Structure your presentation differently. The traditional format for a business pitch is to tell the audience what they’re facing (problem), explain what they need to fix it (solution), and then tell them what they need to do next (call to action). This method is effective, but it can get a little stale or boring. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try something different.
- Choose your details. Many people worry that if they don’t include every piece of information needed for the audience to make a decision, their pitch will fail. But, the point of a pitch is to intrigue the customer enough that they ask questions, or seek out answers on their own. Very few people will make up their mind after a stand-alone pitch, so including all information isn’t necessary.
- Practice but don’t memorize. You want to keep in mind all the points you need to cover, but you don’t want to recite a script to your audience. Your pitch should be a dialogue. It’s easier than you think. You’re simply telling an interested audience about something you know a lot about, and hoping that they want to learn more. The more you focus on connecting with your audience, rather than exactly what you’re saying, the better your pitch will sound to others.
- Make everything as simple as possible. Part of making a business pitch is education your audience on items they don’t know a lot about. Keep your thoughts, concepts and messages simple, so that anyone can follow along. You’ll keep everyone’s attention — and you can always go into more detail as the audience asks questions.
- Be authentic. If you’re creating a presentation, you’re likely trying to communicate information that is important to you or to the audience. While you must be professional, make sure to be yourself as well. During your presentation, imagine you are talking to your favorite friend. Just be yourself and have fun.
- Tell the audience what they’re about to see. If you have an accompanying PowerPoint or slideshow with your presentation, memorize it so you can tell the audience what to expect before you change slides. This will make them more eager to see the information you have to share, and it will help them stay with you throughout the presentation.