Many individuals despise public speaking and always find reasons to swerve business presentations. But presentations are crucial for business communication, especially if you’re looking to rise through the ranks. You may have to pitch to potential investors or roll out a loyalty program to new customers, and your company will not always outsource these functions to external strategic partners. Here are some helpful tips for creating an effective business presentation, including when to use an area chart and other visual representations.
Make a Plan
Presentations can be challenging even for expert communicators. It takes a lot of planning and research to communicate an idea or a message to an audience. Making a plan can be a great way to ground this idea or message, ensuring your stakeholders receive the most succinct part of your information.
There are several factors to consider at this planning stage. Start by creating a dummy outline of your presentation. Avoid overloading too much of your presentation into a few slides but instead, spread it out into multiple pages in order to keep your audience engaged. It’s a lot better to separate your information into several slides rather than remove any important details that you need to include. This will allow you to simplify each slide and reel your audience in. You can enlist a presentation company to tailor your presentation templates to the results of your planning stage. The planning stage of your business presentation is also the right time to deconstruct your audience, understand their expectations, and incorporate them into your planning.
Effective planning helps you discover the pillars on which to develop your presentation. You’ll need to develop these pillars, adding flesh to the bones and ensuring you stay within your slide limit. Turning complex data into visual stories can be crucial to this stage. Usually, presentations are carved out of well-detailed reports with sophisticated numeric values and data, and effective presentations highlight points from these reports.
You’ll appear like a novice if you regurgitate what’s already in your report in your presentation. That’s why many presentation tools like PowerPoint feature visual representations so you can easily transform your quarterly sales data into a comprehensive stacked bar chart. But using these visuals is not only about aesthetics. For instance, you need to know when to use an area chart and the best context in which to apply each visual figure. An area chart is useful when data is expressed as a total, when comparing time periods, when displaying overall trends and not individual values, and when there are multiple data series or a cumulative value series.
Theme the Presentation
Effective communicators conceptualize their slides as different parts of a whole. Give your presentation a unique theme that runs through all your slides. That way, you can tell a compelling narrative about your presentation, leaving your audience with a lasting impression. Otherwise, your audience might get a distorted view of the message you’re putting across.
The easiest way to tell your presentation story is to map your problem statement with the end solution. It gives you a closer look at the story to tell. Steve Jobs leveraged this approach to tell a compelling narrative about the iPod and iPhone, which will stick with the industry and live beyond him. These stories help create an emotional connection with your listeners, fostering a deeper understanding of your business presentation.
The first words you utter can determine your presentation’s direction. Often, many business people make the rookie mistake of starting the presentations with their workforce description, company history, or core values. These details are important, but your audience may have read about these things already. Go straight to the point, starting with an attention-grabbing slide that draws your audience into the presentation even before you start.
Your business is likely to get boring after a few minutes in. Resist the temptation to be in control throughout your presentation. It’s essential to make your presentation a conversation where your audience can throw in suggestions and provide feedback. Writing your conclusions in question tags can be the best way to get the conversation started.
All in all, presentation is a crucial skill to have in any organization. Whether you’re using PowerPoint or data visualization tools, these tips can help you polish your storytelling skills so you can contribute to your business and rise through the ranks.