If you’re finding that your business presentations aren’t getting you results, there could be many reasons why. But there is one that stands out above the rest, and it has nothing to do with your delivery. It’s simply this:
Have you done your homework?
Generally, presentations are an opportunity to get a relevant message across to what starts off as a captive audience. That’s provided you get their attention in the first half minute or so – otherwise they won’t be captive for long. You won’t get their attention by making banal statements about the weather or how nice it is to be here. You want to make a statement that will wake them up and direct attention to your agenda from the start.
If it were you in the audience, what would immediately get your attention? Probably one of two things: It would either be something that you’re passionately interested in or it would be a problem you’re experiencing that needs to be addressed and overcome. The more passionate the interest or the more pressing the problem, the better the chances are of getting their attention.
So before we get to your presentation, the question needs to be asked: does your audience really care about you, your company or your product? Probably not. Why should they? They know that should your offerings somehow evaporate tomorrow your competitor is a Google click away. What your audience really cares about is how you can enhance their lives or solve their problems better than anyone else. Nothing else really matters. That’s where your research begins.
Let’s consider your audience. Who are they? What do they do? Where does their business turnover come from? Who are their customers? What are their problems? Which of these problems is most serious? Which ones can you solve? If you can answer these questions before you even create a single slide for your presentation, you will start uncovering how to approach this audience. Then you can select the information from your substantial arsenal needed to convince them to enter into business with you.
Here’s an example of how a presentation might start:
“This graph shows your organization’s falling stock price over the past 3 months. The adjacent graph shows the projection for the next 3 months. In view of the ministers announcement last week, this isn’t pretty. In the next 20 minutes I’m going to show you surprising data as to why this is happening and what you need to do to reverse this trend completely within the next 3 weeks.”
If you were a board member of that company would you want to know what the presenter has to say next? I think I would.
There are many different components that get you the desired results from a presentation. These include appearance, audience connection, great visuals, vocal projection, fluid body language and an easy to follow structure. But if you haven’t taken the time and trouble to find out a good deal about who you are speaking to and how you can help them, you could be wasting your time – and theirs.
So before you start with any content take some time to do your research. Get to the nitty gritty. Go online, speak to some of their people, find out about their problems and understand their business. You may be rather glad you did this first and your results will more than likely be what you wanted. Put simply: make your product or service the solution to their desires or problems. You’ll substantially enhance your chances of success.
So, do your homework! It will always pay rich dividends.