You might have a revolutionary idea, but you cannot convince other people to get behind it if you do not know how to sell it effectively. The success of any business is largely due to its owner’s skills that help land lucrative accounts.
We now live in the Information Age where people and companies are only as successful as the strength of their communication skills. Poor presentation abilities will fail to inspire, sell products, or attract investors. Strong skills in this arena, however, will help you stand apart from the competition.
You can make a convincing and inspiring presentation by doing the following:
- Know your stuff – Before making your presentation, you should know and be familiar with all of your material. You cannot speak confidently when you lack a thorough knowledge of the topic. If you cannot convince your audience that you are an expert on the subject, you can’t earn their trust. You don’t have to memorize your topic. On the contrary, you should master the key points of your data so that you can speak conversationally without having to rely heavily on notes.
- Start with a bang – The beginning of your presentation is the most important part. If you can get people’s attention from the get-go, they’ll be more likely to hang on to the entirety of your message. One idea is to start with an anecdote that your audience can relate to. Stories are entertaining and easy to listen to, and they enable you to make a personal connection with your audience.
- Be structured – You are not merely presenting a set of slides. You should organize your presentation around an end goal. Make sure that it supports your marketing efforts. Remember, you are not just presenting facts, you are mobilizing an audience to action.
- Speak authentically – People can spot insincerity immediately—and they don’t like it. Speak candidly and honestly with your audience. You don’t have to prove that you’re something special. Worry less about yourself, and focus on connecting your audience with something that will improve their lives. If you are intimidated by large crowds, overcome your fear by picking a single person in the audience. Scout out a friendly face and pretend to speak directly to him or her.
A presentation is the corporate version of storytelling. The better you can engage your audience, the more likely you will be to get them to take a desired course of action.