Business Presentation – at Slavis Translation Services we know the importance of clarity of the message and correctness of its presentation.
Here are 8 things you need to remember of.
Understanding the Importance of Business Presentation
In today’s business world if you want to sell your products or services, you need to be able to present them the right and proper way. It is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you do it for example in English, which might not be your mother tongue. A good presentation is an art that can, however, be mastered.
Here are 8 useful tips that will help you in achieving proficiency in your business presentation skills. Learn, memorise, and put them into practice. After a few tries you’ll see how fruitful it is to utilise them.
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Tip 1: Use Simple Language in your Business Presentation
This is especially crucial if you are not a native speaker of the language you make the presentation in. Use words and phrases that you know, that are simple, and that everybody is able to understand. Plus, simplicity is the key. Your objective is to convey a message, not to give a scholarly lecture.
Tip 2: Speak Slowly
First of all, it’s of utmost importance to be well-understood. And secondly, if you speak slowly and make pauses between words to accentuate their meaning, your audience will pay attention to them and remember what has been said. Do you recollect the Guinness record holder for articulating way over 600 words per minute? Don’t try to even get close to this record. It will not do good for your presentation.
Tip 3: Use Active Verbs
Do not use passive voice during your presentation, as it will make it additionally complicated. Rather than saying: ‘The information can be saved by the programme we sell…’, say: ‘Our programme can save the information’. This is an easier and more direct way to say it. And following this advice you can be understood better and more likely to be remembered by your listeners.
Tip 4: Use Verbs Instead of Nouns
The business presentation will feature more clarity and your listeners will understand you better if rather than saying: ‘The service delivery takes place every Friday’, you say: ‘We deliver the service every Friday’. You should bear it in mind that putting yourself in the shoes of your audience is the path to follow. Remember to deliver the message and communicate your key points the way you’d like them to be delivered or communicated to you.
Tip 5: Avoid Easily Avoidable Errors
There are some ‘presentation crimes’ that are usually committed unconsciously, even though they can be easily avoided. Taking this into account, you should remember:
- not to use abbreviations or acronyms that only people in your industry or line of work know—otherwise it could make your listeners confused as, most likely, they may not be familiar with them
- to avoid jargon and slang—again, your listeners would, most likely, not understand what you are talking about
- to avoid crutch words
Presenters often use crutch words and sounds when they are nervous and while they are thinking. These include: ‘uh…’, ‘er…’, ‘um…’, ‘like…’, ‘yeah…’, ‘actually’, ‘literally’, ‘basically’, ‘honestly’, ‘obviously’. They don’t sound very professional and give the impression you don’t know the subject of your presentation well. Therefore, it’s better to keep silence rather than use them. And if you get stuck in your presentation and don’t know what to say, you can take a deep breath or two. This will benefit the presentation and will give your listeners some time to process what had already been said. After that you can ask them: ‘Do you have any questions at this point?’ Works every time. This will not only help you gather your thoughts and prepare for the next part of the speech but you will also find out what the listeners didn’t understand. In such case you can repeat the part they want to be cleared out or answer any questions they may have.
Tip 6: Dealing with Difficult Questions
Your listeners may come up with questions that you don’t know the answer to. Or, in the worst scenario, some of your listeners may want to try you out or even distract you from continuing your presentation. Do not let yourself get carried away because at all times you should show you are a professional. Be firm and say, e.g.: ‘I will look at your question at the end of the presentation. Now, let’s continue with…’
Tip 7: Remember about Your Voice
When giving a presentation, you should make sure that your voice is loud enough for everybody to hear you. If necessary, arrange for a microphone. Use a well-modulated and varied tone of voice, so that you don’t sound monotonous. Vary the volume, speed and rhythm of your voice to keep your listeners engaged. Use emphasis when necessary to draw attention to key information and differentiate it from the rest of the message. Otherwise, use a pleasing tone and speech rhythm. If your voice sounds enthusiastic, your listeners are more likely to stay tuned in to your message. If you sound indifferent, tired, or monotonous, it will be difficult to capture or retain your audience’s attention.
Tip 8: Mind Your Body Language
Keep your body straight and open to project confidence. Look at your audience to observe their reaction to what you have said. Avoid any actions that distract the listener’s attention away from what you are saying, such as clicking with your ballpoint pen, playing with your jewellery or scratching your head. Remember not to fold your arms as this gives a very bad impression. Instead, use your arms freely to make gestures and support your words and emphasize certain points. Do not speak with your face away from the audience, e.g. when you write something on the board because your voice will be projected onto the board and your audience will not hear you.
And last but not least, don’t be stuck to one place. Move as you speak, as this will force your audience to refocus their attention on you and create interest. However, move in a relaxed and natural way, without pacing, as this will annoy and distract your listeners.