Preparing For a Great Business Presentation

Great business presentations do not simply happen. Great presenters complete great preparation. Have you prepared? How well? Do you even understand how to prepare? Let’s hit the preparation points hard and get you on the right track.

First, you have to have a great presentation. This begin by collecting the information you intend to present, verifying the accuracy, and ensuring that the information is ready to be placed into the presentation.

Second, you need to have a presentation tool. Today, Microsoft’s PowerPoint is probably the most readily available too. Power point can do a ton of things. Understanding how to use the tool is a big key. We don’t have the time to go into that here, but probably the best way to begin to to begin by opening up a new document, learning how to enter the information, and learning how to modify the appearance. An especially important step is learning to modify the slide master as this will allow you to make one set of global changes that will apply to the entire presentation. You should also take the time to learn how to add graphics and to animate text and graphics. You can probably go from zero to able to prepare a reasonable presentation layout in just a couple of hours. So, you can be afraid, but don’t be very afraid. This is just not that hard.

Next, you should plan to make your presentation on a screen if at all possible. Presenting the presentation around the table works and has some advantages of familiarity. However, this is not the best way to really grab the audience. You want to use the screen. With this mind, try to identify your presentation venue and prepare your presentation accordingly. Venue can effect presentation color, size of text, etc.

Now that all this is ready, prepare your presentation script and convert script to presentation. Next, animate every title item onto the page and animate the bullet or talking points to move the audience along with your presentation. The presentation can effectively be arranged as a feature, advantage benefit format or you can choose a free flow. In my opinion, if you are selling something and if you are giving a presentation you SHOULD be selling something. Don’t bother getting up in front of people unless you know your goal.

The features can be text. Advantages and benefits may be text, but they should have graphic descriptors. Finally, benefits should communicate emotion.

Now, be sure and rehearse. Rehearse using the equipment. Rehearse your talking points. Rehearse hand gestures, adding outside material, planned floor commentary. And, rehearse several times. In many cases, 12X is not over rehearsing. Further, rehearsing gives you the confidence needed to deal with inevitable unexpectedpoints and questions. Good luck and good presenting.