Presentations are a part of any business whether they are for meetings or conferences. You have to master the art of presenting yourself to your clients in hopes of getting a new business. A weak presentation on the other hand can turn a favourable business opportunity into a disaster
To make an effective presentation, you need to back it up with material that speaks volumes about you and your business. With good presentation material you can not only keep your presentation precise and to the point, but also make the entire process interesting enough for your clients to have their unwavering attention.
Here are a few things that will help you make your presentation simple, interesting and easy to understand:
Long gone are the days when people would use portable projectors and white screens with hand made slides. MS Power Point has been the favoured office software for making presentations, during the last 20 years.
However, when designing a presentation you should not get carried away and put everything on it. Too many slides in your presentation will make it bulky and boring. You should always remember to use the slides as a prop to help perk up your presentation. Use the slides as a reminder with keywords so you can talk about it yourself.
- Keep the slide count to a minimum and don't go over 20
- Include pictures
- Keep the colour scheme simple
If you want to include videos and graphics in your presentation, you can also use some new age presentation software such as Prezi, which have easy either way and auto navigation options.
If you are pitching your product to someone, you should offer a demonstration whenever possible. If you can get your audience to get involved with that, it's going to make them more interested in your pitch.
If you are pitching for a service, you can try other methods to demonstrate your work. A few examples of customer feedback or reviews can be used in such a situation. They work well to highlight the trust in your brand.
Meeting Materials: Handouts, brochures, etc.
Bringing brochures to the initial meeting is a good idea, but don't dump them on attendees. Keep them on the table for everyone to have a look when they want. Don't send the attendees back with goodie bags and media kits. Save them for the next meeting. The idea of the first meeting is to short-list prospects for the second meeting.
You would like to mention the details about your product and its target market in your pitch. A good idea is to have a solid media and marketing plan ready so you can talk about it when needed. Remember that you should not print your own materials. Go to a professional printer for such a task. The difference in quality is what will reflect on your business.
Also remember to:
- Print your materials on good quality stock paper.
- Not use glossy paper as it makes it hard to read.
- Always use full colour printing.
- Keep all the papers tightly bound.
Experienced entrepreneurs also advise not to bring in any business plans and summaries in for the first meeting and just keep it between two to three Power Point slides. Also, you should not bring in any of your own food items into a meeting as they are normally provided at the place*, unless it is a prop for your presentation.
*At The Space Centre, we provide free biscuits, sweets, tea and cafe all day.