Creating Presentations For Profit
Receive basic information that will help you learn how to effectively create powerful presentations and use them to increase profits for any business.
The different types of presentations
There is more than one type of presentation that can be given to your audience. The purpose of each might be different, with the main goal being to influence the audience in some way. Below are some tips on how to get it right, as well as a list of some of the common types of presentations you might be asked to participate in throughout your life. Some you may have already tackled.
Getting It Right
Presentations are a way of communicating information to others. The best way to approach these presentations is to plan for them. As soon as you accept the challenge, preparation begins.
Regardless of the type of presentation, here are a few things to remember:
- Length of time – This dictates how much detail will be included.
- Topic – If you choose your own, make sure that you get information on the target audience. If you are given one, research it thoroughly for important facts to include.
- Outline – Plan what will be included in the presentation so you stay on topic.
- Opening and conclusion – Memorize your opening and conclusion so you don’t miss what you want and need to relay to your audience.
- Audience – Is it your student peers, a prospective client, your students, children or novices? Using appropriate language and examples, for understanding and engagement, is important to a successful presentation.
What Type of Presentation Are You Giving?
You may be a team leader or or mid-level manager conducting a meeting for the staff. The topic could be project updates, new product launches, monthly sales report or another topic critical to your group. These are usually small groups and kept informal.
Maybe you are running for political office or a seat on the school board. Speeches present your ideas and approach to the issues to your potential constituents. Since people have short attention spans, it is important to make them concise and highly relevant.
When you are speaking to a prospective client, you get one chance to impress them. Provide what they want and need from the outset to hold and keep their attention.
Some job interviews require a presentation. The key here is understanding the criteria your interviewers are looking for and presenting your qualities in that time frame.
Students are notorious for dozing during class. Keep them engaged in the topic by presenting it on their level with real-time relevancy.
Conference or seminar presenter
Usually the entire event has a unified theme with your talk being one aspect of it. The audience may even be your peers (such as doctors, lawyers, or business owners). Because they have been to other presentations, it is important to gain their attention and interest from the beginning.
Students are presenting their side of an issue to peers and their instructor for judgment. There is an allotted time, a topic and a need to sway the audience to their side.
Creating a presentation requires the same skills no matter the venue or the audience.
The importance of planning your presentations
When it comes to creating a presentation for profit, there are so many things to consider so the importance of planning should be a major focus. For instance, if you want a more visual presentation, you learn how to create slides for your audience, or at the very least a slideshow of images they can relate to. You will also want to create an outline to follow so that you can be sure that your words flow well.
Rehearsing is a part of the planning process
You have to decide how you will present the information and then practice running through the entire thing as many times as necessary until you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that a good presenter strives for a conversational feel instead of a scripted performance.
Stay on topic
Planning allows you to refine the information you want to include in your presentation. Start by selecting a few pertinent points and discuss them. Then move on to the next one without veering to far from your plan. Too many times I see speakers go off on tangents because they feel so passionate about what they are saying that they lose their place and can’t get back on track.
Back up plan
Suppose that your laptop crashes or your slides don’t load properly? What will you do? Thinking about this ahead of time means formulating a backup plan just in case of emergency. Devise a strategy for what you will do in the event of equipment failure, technology failure, power failure and the like.
Know your audience
Planning gives you time to ask questions of the person or organization inviting you to speak. Find out what they expect as well as the likes and dislikes of the group. Now you can center your topic on their interests.
What types of questions would you ask if you were in the audience? How would you respond? Questions like this prepare you for just about anything that the audience throws your way without getting flustered. It also increases your knowledge of the subject matter.
When you rehearse your presentation, ask a trusted friend or colleague to watch you. They can point out mistakes being made so they can be corrected in advance of the big day.
There are plenty of advantages to planning and definitely no disadvantages, so why not be prepared?
How to build a sales pitch into your presentation
Are you presenting a product or service to a potential client or an audience of potential clients? The main point of the presentation is to make the sale, but the focus of the presentation is the audience. How can you accomplish both at the same time?
That is the big question!
It can be challenging to find a balance between creating a content filled presentation or a salesy one. There is no shame in wanting to make the sale, but you also need to keep your audience in mind.
Remember: they are watching you because they want to learn something from you so you need to catch their attention and evoke emotion if you want them to buy.
Do your homework
The key to engaging a customer is to know who they are. What do they need that your product can provide? What are their immediate needs? Who else has the potential to meet those needs? It is not inappropriate to ask a potential client or customer some questions that would help you prepare for them. But, you will have to do some digging on your own as well to get what you need.
Know your product
What aspects of your product’s capabilities speak to the needs of the client or customer? This is how you tailor a presentation to the specific need of the audience. Choose one feature that can solve the issue they are currently having and use that as the topic of your presentation.
Meet the needs
Make the presentation about the customer. When you begin by discussing your company or product, the talk focuses on you. Instead, use words and imagery to show the benefits of the product to customers. It’s all about meeting their needs, not your revenue.
Tell a story
It goes without saying that it needs to be a relevant story. Relay a time when your product was used by a past customer, and the positive outcomes. Choose a story whose outcomes are also the desires of the current audience. Show empathy towards your audience.
Ask your audience questions and wait for their response. Show them that you are listening. Move your presentation in a direction that highlights the need expressed in their responses.
Don’t forget the call to action
The deal isn’t sealed until you tell the audience what you want them to do. Some will say yes right away and others will need time. Create a follow-up strategy to keep them interested until they say yes. Keep in mind that a good sales pitch will instill confidence in your ability to meet their needs.
How to get your audience involved in your presentation
How soon do you get tired in the seat during a presentation? If you know the answer, then you’ve probably been to some pretty boring talks. If not, then just maybe you’ve encountered a speaker who knows the value of audience participation. We are going to tap into how to get and keep your audience involved in your presentation.
That is what you’ll believe you’re watching when you get a speaker who drones on through a presentation. The material may be relevant but if it’s not presented in a way that reaches out and grabs you then you lose interest.
No one wants to be “that person” whose presentations are boring and uneventful. If you’re afraid this might be you, ask yourself this question: If I were in the audience, what would keep me awake and involved in what was being said? Brainstorm some answers and use those to improve your presentations.
It’s time to engage the audience. In fact, the time to involve them is during the planning of your presentation. The audience is your target, your focus and your star. They are here to see you, so you have to be there for them and give them what they want. How can you discover if you are moving in the right direction? Get them to tell you so.
Here are some suggestions for an energetic presentation:
Ask a question at the beginning of your presentation
If you plan on telling a story or showing a shocking image, ask the audience a question that will set them thinking in advance of your big reveal. Now, their minds are occupied with viewing or listening to you in light of this advance directive.
Send out a survey
If this is an office presentation, attach a survey to the invitation for participants to fill out and email back to you. Use this info to craft the presentation for them.
For smaller business settings where the configuration is a round table, ask questions and/or give instructions for small group participation. Participants can get to know each other while learning something new from you. Allow time for debrief of information after the entire group comes back together.
Speak to a participant directly
This method works in smaller groups. Make eye contact and ask a question that anyone can answer easily. Then call on someone to get the ball rolling. Be sure to thank them for their answer before continuing the discussion.
Here we are talking about fill-in-the-blank sentences, partial images and the like where the audience gives their take on what they see.
Audience participation leads to further discussion as a part of your presentation. When the audience feels like they matter, they will take the time to listen.
Tips to create successful presentations
Have you ever watched someone give a live presentation and thought that they made it look easy? Believe it or not, they were probably shaking in their boots a few minutes before the curtain went up. Accept the fact that you will be nervous and move on to the more important things, such as turning an idea into a stellar presentation.
There is an art to presenting any type of information. Begin with a few tips and move on from there. The hope is that the following information will get you moving in a positive direction from your first presentation forward.
- Take it slow – People have a tendency to speed up their speech when they get nervous or are afraid that they will forget something. Slowing your speech also slows your heart rate and gives the audience a chance to hear you.
- Tell a story – It used to be that introducing yourself was the first thing you said in a presentation. Today, people want to be entertained. They search for relevancy from the beginning, so give it to them.
- Include the audience – Don’t talk “at” them; talk “to” them. Make the audience feel like they are a part of the presentation. It prevents boredom and snoozing.
Always remember a presentation is a way of communicating information to a group of people.
It can be an interview process, speaking to a large group at a conference, giving a speech, conducting a seminar, a lecture for students, a sales presentation and much more. What they all have in common is an audience that has come to hear what the speaker has to say.
While each presentation may have a different audience participating, the key is to meet the needs of the group. As you are planning ask yourself, what do they want to hear? What do they expect to learn from you? These are important questions that will help you consistently improve your presentations.
Here are a few more ways you can improve your presentations:
– Ask for feedback
It is a powerful tool for any presenter. Whether it is in the form of a survey completed after the presentation or at the end of the semester’s class, the information that a feedback tool contains is invaluable to making the next one even better. Everyone could use some constructive criticism from time to time. It keeps us on our toes.
– Take a class
If you are deathly afraid of speaking and it is an essential part of your job or business, try Toastmasters or a public speaking class. Both can provide you with the necessary skills to build your confidence and abilities.
– Keep it simple
No one said that a presentation had to have a hundred moving parts. For instance, keep slides to a minimum with an easy-to-read font. Tell your audience what you will be discussing so they know what to expect. Present relevant points in the beginning and stick to them.
People respond to concrete facts, not speculation. Offer them solid information in a unique and fun way. This will help them to remember you and your business later.
I would like to thank you for joining me for this short course on presentation profits. I sincerely hope that you have learned a lot about how to create presentations that turn a profit for your business and even though your lesson has come to an end you can still feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to help.