Tips When Giving a Business Presentation

Tips When Giving a Business Presentation

Giving a presentation at work, or at a work-related event held outside the office, can be nerve racking. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your presentation goes smoothly:

  • Find out who the audience is. This can be vitally important – you need to know how familiar your audience will be with the presentation topics. Can you assume a certain level of knowledge? One sure-fire way to ensure your audience fails to engage is to bore an audience of experts by explaining basic things they already know very well. Another is for your presentation to go ‘over the heads’ of your audience as they don’t have a clue what you’re on about.
  • Brush up on the presentation’s subject matter.
  • Keep it as short as possible. There will probably be a number of messages you have to include in your presentation. However, make sure that the presentation is as succinct as possible. The last thing you want is for your audience to lose concentration as you waffle at length about a particular topic.
  • Limit the number of slides. ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is a phrase that is often banded about to describe certain business presentations. It can be very useful to use a limited number of slides to remind the audience of key points, but if there are too many slides the audience could struggle to take all the information in. Also, try and find out the size of the audience and the size of the room. You may decide against using slides at all if the back row won’t be able to read them – in these circumstances it may be best just to talk about the topic and then issue a summary handout at the end.
  • Rehearse. Deliver your presentation beforehand to a colleague, or maybe to someone you live with. Ask them to comment constructively on how you come across.
  • Check you can operate the technology. Practising operating the projector, laptop or any other device can be as important as practising delivering its content. Even if you know your subject matter inside out and can deliver it articulately, you could still face embarrassment if you can’t master how the projector works.
  • Dress smartly. Even if you can dress down in the office, create the right impression by wearing formal business dress.
  • Introduce yourself. Let the audience know your name, your company’s name and your position within the company. You could perhaps also start by concisely summarising your experience in the topics covered in the presentation.
  • Check those at the back can hear you. If they can’t, speak up!

Maintain eye contact with your audience. Don’t fall into the trap of continually looking at your notes, or at the projector.

Search For a Job