As an entrepreneur, you are often required to pitch your services to a potential client, present your business plan to a prospective partner, bank or investor, or promote your business at a public event. In brief, you are required to give a presentation and for the same, you need good presentation skills. Here are some pointers that will help you to prepare, present and deliver a power-packed presentation.
Know Your Audience Knowing your audience and their needs beforehand will help you target their interests. You can make a better customized presentation and deliver it effectively. For instance, while presenting to a prospective client you will talk about how your company can be of use to him and while pitching your business plan, you will talk about the business profits and growth plan.
Work on the Presentation Decide on the structure of your presentation. It should include an effective introduction, a body consisting of a set of goals that will be covered during your speech and a conclusion. Do your research well so that you can speak authoritatively and answer any difficult questions thrown in your way.
Rehearse Well A prepared presenter is a good presenter.
• Go over your presentation a few times, keep in mind the key points and practice the best way to communicate them.
• Remember, practice but don’t memorize. Memorizing the script will not only make you deliver a stilted presentation but also if you forget a word in the middle, you will start panicking.
• You can rehearse in front of a mirror, wall or before friends. Try to video tape it and see later where you can improve such as articulation, inflection, flow, pauses, volumes etc.
• Also, rehearse with the tools you plan to use with the presentation: laptops, microphones, speakers, laser pointers, projectors, pen drives etc., so as not to encounter unpleasant surprises during your presentation.
Improve Body Language As much as the presentation is about the script, it’s also about the demeanour of the presenter. Work on your body language. This covers areas such as facial expressions, eye contact, cultural gestures, use of hands, and others. Also don’t try too hard; but act naturally. Be confident in the way you connect and engage with your audience.
Choose Your Words Carefully Think carefully about the contents of your talk.
• The content should be well-researched and include only facts.
• Try to relate real life experiences to give it a more human touch.
• Keep it brief yet descriptive.
• Never use culturally offensive language.
• People love a bit of humour. So try to incorporate a few good jokes but don’t go overboard. Remember, humour and not sarcasm.
Prepare Support Materials Prepare documentation or handouts in order to support and reinforce your presentation. It makes your life easier. Also, make use of visuals to demonstrate your points clearly.
Some Do’s and Don’t’s to remember while Presenting: • Create value proposition by communicating the benefits of your product, service or idea. • Ask the right questions at the right time. • Keep it simple, direct and clear. • Don’t be rhetoric, it kills the interest. Make your presentation credible, appealing and logical. • Don’t mumble. Ensure your voice reaches every person in your audience or they will lose interest. • Keep your shoulders straight, your head up and remain focused and confident.