If the first thing that comes to your mind whenever you hear “business presentation” or “business plan presentation” is a sense of fear or panic, I totally get it. You have to collect facts, figures and graphs and squeeze them all into a few slides. Plus, there is always a deadline. But the worst is yet to come, because you also have to take the floor and give a speech in front of your colleagues. How do you deal with it and what is a business presentation in general?
Here are some tricks on how to make a business presentation for college or school not so boring.
Business Presentation Ideas
The absolute most important element of any presentation you are ever going to give is the idea. The underlying idea or concept is the beating heart of your business presentation. Take something which matters deeply to you and rebuild it in the minds of your audience. A lot of people are concerned with how they are going to look and sound and do not give as much thought to the substance and the meaning of the idea.
Ask yourself what would go beyond expectations and knock people’s socks off? In everything we do there is always a possibility to meet expectations, but there is also something extra, something that people are not expecting. You may have a dry topic, but you can find humor in it. The point is, something extra does not have to be something major.
Business Presentation Topics for Students
The best way to find a great topic for a business presentation is to brainstorm. Jot down everything which comes to your mind and pick one theme that sounds most interesting to you. Let me show you how to do it. Now I am going to write down all the topics in my head. By the way, you can use some of these business presentation topics, but only if you feel that you want to dig up more info.
Labor unions, Spam e-mail, paparazzi, the use of steroids, the history of tobacco, women in the military, herbs as medicine, dolly the sheep, Lasik surgery, 3D glasses, the Cold War of today, humor heals, the search for Atlantis, the last tsar of Russia.
I recommend you also to check out the TED Talks. Sometimes the idea can seem so simple, but the meaning can be deeper than it sounds. But if you can’t come up with an idea because your assignments do not give you a moment's peace, let us help with your business writing and research papers.
Efficient Tips for Great Presentation
Once you have nailed down the idea behind the business presentation, it is time to start looking at some tactics you can use to make the presentation more compelling.
Know Your Audience
The first step in preparing for any presentation should be to get a better understanding of who your audience is. It will allow you to understand the type of content they are going to be expecting in regards to the depth and technical detail. You would not want to give the same presentation to a group of high school students who are interested in entrepreneurship that you would to a room full of startup founders and CEOs. Dig up as much as you can about who your audience is and what material they are interested in. It enables you to tailor the content and deliver the presentation in a way that will make it stand out. It will make your presentation more memorable and exciting.
Start with WHY
You know what the hook is, but it works another way in a presentation. Most people start their presentation with What-question. They tell us what we are going to hear, and they reveal their goals. Boring. It does not work. Tell me (the audience) why you are going to give it to me. What do I get out of it? Will you help me save my money? Will you tell me how to avoid disease? It does not have to be in your first slide. Just tell me why am I listening to you?
Use Structure to Build on Ideas
If you structure your business presentation in a way that each idea, each section builds on the one before it, you help the audience connect with the content and create logical links between the concepts.
Use Slides as a Trail Guide
First of all, get the correct slide size. Make sure everyone can see it.
Provide your audience with a few hints about the topic and one relevant image. It will work as a visual trigger for you to know what story to tell. And your audience will be able to understand fast what you mean. Therefore, you’ll make them take their eyes off the presentation and put them back on you. Do not include too many words in your slides.
When you are speaking, there will be people who may not be able to see everything in the slide, especially when the text itself is at the bottom. So keep the text as high as possible.
When there is a part in your business presentation you want people to focus on, you go dark. You are essentially turning off the slides taking people’s attention away from any distractions and putting the focus directly on you. Actually, this is one of my favorite tricks to do.
Another great tool to cement your ideas in the audience’s mind is to use visuals like graphs, charts and infographics to illustrate and communicate the concept. 65% of people are considered to be visual learners. So, if you do not take this approach in your business presentation, you are going to ignore the vast majority of the population. Showing someone 200% growth with a graph is much more exciting than explaining it while they are looking at the raw data.
Analogies and Metaphors
Use analogies and metaphors to essentially meet your audience where they are. A good example comes from the movie “The Big Short.” Explaining the great financial crash of 2008 and Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) as one of its causes, directors and Ryan Gosling create the analogy that is much easier to understand. They show us a famous chef who tells a story about how he bought fish on Friday which got rotten three days later. Instead of throwing it away, he just throws it into a stew and calls in something new.
This helps the viewer perceive the concept of CDO and how it works much more vividly.
Another tool to connect with the audience is humor. John Oliver is one of its masters. Even though his show covers topics which are objectively boring like the federal budget and gerrymandering, millions of people still tune in to watch it because John is an expert at using analogies.
Personal Tricks for Business Presentation in High School or College
Go first. It sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. If you happen to go first, it demonstrates that you are prepared and really confident about your presentation. The first person is usually the most memorable as well. Your audience is still “hungry.”
Do not use any notes and make sure to mention something you learned in class if it is relevant to your presentation.
Personally, I tend to show a video presentation instead of just flat slides. Text and images move, background music sets the tone. A video is also far more likely to hold your audience’s attention than a regular PowerPoint presentation. But if your assignment is a Power Point Presentation, you already know how to make it unforgettable.
But in the end, if you really know what you are talking about, you do not need PowerPoint.