How to Master the Art of Presenting
“All speaking is public speaking whether it is to one person or one thousand.”
When it comes to building and maintaining a strong brand identity, presentation skills are vital. Whether you realize it or not, your brand is on a platform and it’s being presented every time its seen by or voiced to any audience. If you’re in the consulting or marketing business, you’re constantly speaking to current or potential clients, pitching ideas and communicating strategy.
Before you want to showcase your brand in front of an audience, the most important must-do that remains relevant no matter the decade: always do your homework. In order to provide the best possible depiction of your brand and why it’s special, you must research, study, and learn the formula that makes up a great presentation. Luckily for you, we don’t like homework either and have made it easier than ever to find out just what those necessary components are for you to nail your next gig.
Component #1: Know Your Audience
Presenting is an art, no different than a painting, a novel or a piece of music. It takes an artist to deliver material that endears its audience with impressive and captivating workings leaving them wanting more. In order to speak to and impress your audience, you have to first know your audience. For example, if a client likes simple and elegant, you probably don’t want to have an overcrowded presentation full of colorful graphics and varied fonts, otherwise, your material can easily become irrelevant if the style is off-putting. Therefore, always remember to tailor both the message and delivery in an appropriate manner that is in line with the client’s style, mission, and values.
In any business, it is your job to create a product that is an extension of what the client has started to envision. This doesn’t mean the vision can’t be made better or altered completely, after all, if you are presenting to them, they have asked for help, but be wary to refrain from getting a large head and go full takeover mode. The client wants you to see their idea and run with it, not run away with it. Always keep perspective by putting yourself in their shoes and continuously trying to understand the client’s point of view. Again, the better you know your client, the better tailored your presentation will be to satisfy and impress them.
Component #2: Engage Your Audience
Moving on to the actual content of the message… did you think we forgot? The key to a great presentation is persuasion. You persuade by keeping peak interest, and as I said earlier, keeping the right perspective. To get the possible client on your side, utilize an engaging or relatable tactic by starting with something funny or a question you may ask your audience. Without even realizing, the client could start to enjoy your personality and as a result, will see your presentation in the same positive light.
While you show a little personality and passion behind your pitch, keep in mind that body language accounts for between 55% and 65% of communication and can have a major impact on the delivery of your ideas. Remain within the safe area of being professional while also adding a pinch of show business such as visuals or propping to really add finesse and bring life to your plan.
Component #3: Prepare for Your Audience
Finally, in order to master your presentation, you end just like you began… do your homework! Only this time, the assignment is to rehearse. Now you have all of the information you need to give a masterful presentation! Just stay confident, know your material, and go knock their socks off!