Presentations in a company can concern such matters as the plans for the company’s future, the formation of a new team for a specific project, the demonstration of the aims of the enterprise, and the creation of offers for our clients. Regardless of the a
Presentations in a company can concern such matters as the plans for the company’s future, the formation of a new team for a specific project, the demonstration of the aims of the enterprise, and the creation of offers for our clients. Regardless of the aim of a presentation, there are several rules that make it easier to carry it out in the most optimal way. It is possible to learn how to create a successful and detailed company presentation that would appeal to a target group of people. We will try to enumerate every important factor that has an influence on the success of such a presentation. The beginning is the most important.
How you are perceived by your audience highly depends on how you start your speech. You have to plan a hard-hitting opening that will raise the interest of your listeners, shock them, and grasp their attention. All of this will result in the ability to freely juggle information and visualizations in order to achieve the previously established goals. The most important thing is to maintain the interest of the listeners so that they do not get bored and eagerly anticipate the next stages of our presentation, but of course, we all know that this is not possible every time.
Let us think about how to carry out an engaging presentation about our company’s financial plans for the next year. Tables and charts might not be the most interesting things in the world, but we may try to present them in an attractive form. Instead of creating classic, column charts, we can switch to presenting values by means of graphics. Such a display will draw the attention of every participant. We should begin this kind of meeting by making a shocking statement, e.g.: we will double our profits next year! We can deny this statement during the course of our presentation, or we can say that such a plan is, in fact, possible to accomplish, but many conditions have to be fulfilled to achieve such a goal. The most important thing is to raise the interest among our listeners, the rest will proceed smoothly.
The structure of a presentation
Every presentation, regardless of its topic, consists of three clearly visible parts. The first one is an introduction which is a very important element of every company speech. The introduction should be concerned not only with making the audience acquainted with the topic of the presentation, but also with raising its interest and positive attitude. We should not waste this chance because, most probably, we will not get another one.
During the first few minutes of a presentation the listeners evaluate the speaker. If the evaluation is positive, they will listen attentively. Otherwise, their minds will be occupied with totally unrelated matters, and they will consider our presentation as a waste of time. If at the beginning the participants find something interesting in our speech, it is almost certain that they will listen to us to the very end and even ask questions.
The second part of a presentation is devoted to passing on all the information about the topic. Paradoxically, this stage is not very important, but it is worth to prepare it thoroughly. We must not flood our listeners with useless information, and we must not overburden them with data. They will not memorize everything anyway. In this main part, we should include the most essential elements. Our words should be supported by visualizations. It is imperative that we prepare a computer presentation or a traditional one – boards with charts, models of products, etc. Pictures are more easily memorized than the speaker’s words. The smaller the pieces of data, the better. Furthermore, chunks of information should be provided in an appropriate order, with emphasis on the most important matters. At the end of this stage, we should summarize all the things we discussed. We can do this by means of a chart or an office board.
The third and final part of a presentation is its ending. Generally, as we said before, the introduction is the most important stage, however, we should not neglect the importance of a well delivered conclusion. The feelings that will accompany our listeners right after we finish our presentation depend heavily upon how we end our speech. Therefore, we should repeat the most important points of, provide information in a clear and simple form, and, simply, make a good impression. If our target audience consists of a group of clients, we should give them a small gift, e.g., an item with our company’s logo. Such an approach will surely remain in their memory. They will pleasantly recall our presentation and will approach our offers more positively than our competition’s. As we can see, even such a cheap small act can do wonders during a company presentation.
Unfortunately, the biggest mistake of a person who deals with a presentation is the focus on its main body. This means that the introduction and the conclusion are neglected. Such an approach is a critical mistake for every manager. Usually, we devote the biggest amount of time to the main body of our presentation, and the beginning and the end are spontaneously created during the course of our speech. This approach is wrong because during the first few minutes we build our credibility in the eyes of the audience. Therefore, an introduction should not only raise interest, but also evoke positive feelings towards us. We must simply raise curiosity. This is the only way we can successfully carry out a presentation in a company.
The ending of our speech determines what our listeners will memorize, and what impression of the presentation they will have. The most memorable aspects are those which appear at the beginning and at the end. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly plan the conclusion in order to increase the value of our presentation.
Eye contact with listeners
What we say and how we say it is very important during, however, maintaining eye contact with the audience is equally important. Before we actually begin our presentation, it is good to scan our audience in silence. We should not start our speech if we do not stand in our place yet. It is best to build a proper atmosphere so that everyone anticipates our move. Hasty beginnings can totally ruin a presentation.
Energetically and with spirit
A constant flow of words in the same tone, without any breaks, and without any addition of emphasis can successfully bore our listeners. Therefore, we should radiate energy during a presentation. We should do it with spirit. Thanks to such an approach, our listeners will recognize the key elements of our speech because we will put enough emphasis on these important aspects. However, energy does not mean silliness. The times in which every presentation had to begin with a joke to ease the tension are long gone. Nowadays, such an approach is frowned upon. It is better to try to raise the interest among the listeners, hence, we cannot begin a presentation with empty words. We should never admit that we are unprepared for even if it’s true. Such an admission is a critical mistake, and it will neither raise interest nor evoke positive feelings in our listeners. The speaker should be in absolute control of his or her presentation’s introduction. It is best to memorize a few opening sentences in order to begin our speech with confidence.
A pleasant atmosphere
This point is not about befriending our audience, but creating a friendly atmosphere. Sometimes, it is enough to say something about ourselves, our experiences, or some amusing situations we participated in. We will give the listeners a part of ourselves, and they will surely appreciate that. We should not try to build an image of an unerring expert because our audience will perceive us as cold, egoistic, and unfriendly.
A sense of humor is welcome
Though a joke at the opening of a presentation is regarded with disapproval, a presenter’s sense of humor is highly valued. It is a real asset, and a speaker should try to make use of it. It is not hard to come to the conclusion that this might not be an easy task. Maintaining an expressionless face during the whole presentation creates a distance between the speaker and the audience. Furthermore, such a presenter is perceived as unapproachable and this is not something we want. It is good to tell a humorous anecdote related to our company; we just have to make sure it is placed in the right moment. Such a form of subtle humor will evoke positive feelings among the participants. If we tell jokes about blondes or blacks, we can easily offend someone.
The most important rules of a successful presentation
There are three very important rules that, if followed, will nearly guarantee the success of our presentation. The first one is to find a common ground with our audience. The second one is about showing that we are competent and have extensive knowledge on the presented subject. The third rule states that we should explain what our listeners will gain from our presentation.
A successful presentation is a summary of our behavior and our interaction with the audience. If we successfully engage our listeners in our presentation, they will feel that it is not a waste of time, and we will achieve our aims. Our speech should prove to be of great value to our listeners. We should never try to pretend that we have a sense of humor if we are not the life of the party by nature. It is better to focus on reducing the distance between us and the audience. Thanks to such an approach, we will create a pleasant atmosphere.
Summing up, the most important aspects of a presentation are the introduction and the conclusion. However, we should not neglect the importance of the core of the problem which we discuss in the main body of our speech. In short, we should be hard-hitting at the opening and at the very end. The middle part should include the most important pieces of information. They should be presented in a very interesting manner. If we follow all of the abovementioned hints, our presentation will surely prove to be successful.