Everyone has great ideas at some point—that’s not the biggest challenge. Success is all about showcasing your creativity in a way that amazes your audience. And how should you do that? By having a compelling presentation.
An amazing presentation will make you look professional and confident. Being careful with the smallest details will not go unnoticed and will probably make the audience trust you more easily. Taking time to perfect your presentation—which is both about your slides and your speech—will ensure your success, along with that amazing idea of yours.
There are a few opinions on what makes a presentation great, but some things are universal. You should pay attention to the design of your slides—keep it clean and attractive. Another important point is how you display your data. Don’t throw all the text you have on a few slides and be done. Exhibit your most important, strongest point and develop it in your pitch. And use powerful visuals—they don’t say that a picture equals a thousand words for nothing.
How to Make a Compelling Business Presentation
1Be convinced about your idea
If you don’t believe in your idea, no one will. This means that you have to build your presentation to showcase your passion. Show your audience why your idea works and why they should care.
Having passion is a great way of showing how much you care. That this is not just another business idea, but something you have strong feelings about. Usually, the audience will pick up on your attitude. This greatly influences how much they will care about what you have to say.
2Tell a story
People tend to show more interest in personal stories rather than listed facts. If your pitch originates from personal experience—use it to your advantage. Become a narrator, rather than a salesman, and see how your audience changes.
Having a story to tell makes you more human. Make people feel something about your idea by transposing them in your narrative. We’re hardwired to get involved emotionally in a good story. So use that to your advantage.
3Use supporting materials
Everyone will be more inclined to trust your data if you have supporting materials. Don’t be afraid to quote your authoritative sources. It only shows that you’ve done your research and you’re confident about it.
Most of the time, if someone puts effort into something, it shows. If you’re worried that quoting your sources will make your idea sound less original, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. All of us find inspiration in everything that is around us. What is important is what we do with that inspiration.
4Memorable visuals and quotes
Maybe this one doesn’t sound important, but trust us, it can change everything. A well-placed quote or a striking image that supports your ideas is easy to remember for your audience. Inspire your audience to believe in what you present.
Visual content is also a way of influencing what your audience feels. Some images, for example, can be scientifically linked to feeling a certain emotion. So by using memorable visuals, you can technically show your public how they should feel about what you’re saying. Emotion can be a really great incentive if used well.
5Questions and rhetorics
If you want your audience to pay attention, engage with them. Ask questions—even if they’re rhetorical—to stress what you want to say. If people agree with you, or if they find themselves having the same questions you have, then they will remember you. What is greater than a hooked audience? (See what we did there?)
Having an engaged public means that not only will they pay attention during your whole presentation, but they will also try to anticipate what you want to say. You can use that and try to surprise them. Thinking out of the box will only make people love your pitch even more.
6Skip the jargon
More often than not, people won’t be familiar with your jargon. Technical terms or words that are hard to understand will make you lose the audience’s attention. Explain everything as if you were talking to a child – simple and without showing off your knowledge.
You can still showcase your knowledge but in a subtle manner. If you start throwing jargon in the public’s face, there’s a very small chance that they will be impressed. But if they feel like they actually learned something new—that they didn’t know they needed to know—then congratulations! You’ve definitely impressed some people.
A simple design doesn’t have to be bland. Think out of the box! Try to be creative with your slides. Luckily for you, there’s plenty of free PowerPoint templates online ready to use. All you have to do is download them and start editing!
Try to match your template to the feel of your presentation. Sometimes it’s a good idea to be conventionally professional. But there are times when showing your human side can bring you more success. Think about what you’d like people to think about you and your idea, and act accordingly.
8The 10-20-30 rule
This rule is simple but golden. You should have around 10 slides. Your presentation shouldn’t last more than 20 minutes. No font you used should be smaller than 30 points. The attention span of a person gets shorter and shorter every day. By following this rule, you won’t overdo and you have all the chances of having an engaged audience.
Maybe you won’t respect this rule word-by-word. But you should still be aware of what it brings to attention. It’s easy to make a 100-slide presentation when you have a lot to say. But it’s a bit harder to sum up everything in 10 slides while still touching all the points you need. However, the latter will help you have a more engaged audience and it will improve your presentation skills.
What to Take Away
There are many elements involved in a great presentation. But perhaps the hardest part is making it look like it took little or no effort. Like that’s how you arrange your ideas, naturally. A well-designed presentation will make you look professional and trustworthy.
Amazing presentations take you a long way. You need to have more than a great idea to convince anyone. Make your audience say “Why haven’t I thought of this before??” after your pitch. Impress them with your clean, minimalistic slide design. Back up your facts. Make yourself memorable with visual elements. But most importantly, try not to show off or overdo anything. Just be yourself, show your passion, and hook your audience!