Making your case: Presentations that work

January 21, 2013 - Tags: Sales Marketing

When you're giving a presentation, you want to be engaging and informative. These tips can help you get your message across successfully.

Define your message and stick to it:

Keep it as short as possible — be succinct and to the point. Don't get hung up on your intro — briefly introduce yourself and your company, and then move on to the main message. Your message should be crafted to meet the needs of your audience. If they are looking for information on your products or services, you will want to have a strong sales pitch prepared. If you are invited to give a presentation on a general business topic, however, you may want to focus more on educational content than on a straight sales pitch.

Customize each presentation you give to your audience's specific situation:

  • Make the audience the focus of your presentation — what problem can you help them solve? Can you save them time, money, or effort?
  • Ask yourself: what information does my audience need?
  • Tailor your language to the audience — avoid using jargon that they will not understand. Always explain technical terms and acronyms.

Be prepared for questions:

  • Make sure you understand the question before replying, and ask for clarification if you don't understand
  • Try to anticipate questions your audience may ask, and have answers prepared in advance
  • Have statistics and specific examples to back up your answers whenever possible

Other tips:

  • Bring samples if possible — if you're selling a product, leaving something tangible behind can help your business stand out
  • Check and double-check your equipment — have a contingency plan in case of a technical malfunction
  • If you are using slides, keep them as simple as possible — in this case, less is more
  • Use statistics or testimonials to back up your case
  • Practice your presentation in advance, and consider joining an organization that can help you improve your public speaking  skills

Whether your goal is to create a working relationship with a potential partner, to seal the deal with a new customer, or to secure financing, you will want to conclude your presentation with a compelling call to action.

To learn more about getting your message across successfully, visit our page on Public relations and media relations.

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