Delivering powerful business pitches to potential clients and investors is an important task for achieving success as a business leader. Presenting your value as a company in an engaging and memorable way in a sea of competition can be a daunting task.
Consider these steps to engage with your audience and deliver a powerful business presentation every time.
Practice makes perfect. Rehearse your presentation a couple of times in front of your peers. They will be able to point out if your message comes through clear and makes sense.
Tell your origin story. Be a storyteller by turning your business pitch into a memorable story. While facts and statistics support your message, be sure to include personal anecdotes to draw in your audience.
Be different. You are likely competing against other similar businesses for a client. Make sure you explain how you are different from competitors and what you can offer that goes beyond what the client is looking for.
Do not front load information about your firm. Remember, the most effective presenters grab and hold their audience by making their presentations instantly relevant to the audience. If you spend time talking about your credentials, you risk losing those you are seeking to win over.
Infuse it with enthusiasm. People are more likely to work with a business owner who genuinely cares about what they do. Always bring a positive, upbeat attitude along with you to pitch presentations.
Test the technology. There’s nothing worse than stalling your presentation because you can’t get the HDMI cord to work. Arrive early to test the technology and connect to a Wi-Fi hot spot, if needed, so you’re ready to start with no awkward silences while you deal with technical difficulties.
Keep it simple. Making too many points in one presentation will confuse your audience. Keep it succinct by focusing on three key takeaways.
Use imagery. People remember 55% more information if it’s combined with a visual aid. As a rule of thumb, you should include more visuals than text on each slide. You want your audience to be listening to you, not reading everything from the screen. And please, don’t read your slides to your audience, you will lose their attention.
Show case studies. Highlight the work you’ve done with similar clients to give your audience an idea of what to expect from you. Make sure the case studies are relevant to the client and not just about how successful your business was in that situation.
Watch the time. Be respectful of your audience’s time and be sure to end your presentation on time, or ideally early, to leave room for questions.
Seek coaching. If speaking in front of an audience gives you anxiety, consider hiring a professional coach to help you conquer this fear and strengthen your public speaking skills.
Susan Anable is Cox Communications’ vice president of public affairs for the southwest region.