As a (sales) professional, you are often involved in presenting. Conveying your message is indeed a crucial part of your work. Therefore, it is important that you can present well and professionally. But how do you give a good presentation? What types of presentations are there? And what are presentation skills? These are all questions that may arise on this topic. To assist you in delivering professional presentations, we answer these questions and provide tips to enhance your presentation skills.
Before we discuss how to give a professional presentation, let's talk about the types of presentations you may encounter. A presentation can take place in front of an audience of 500 people, but it can just as well be a one-on-one situation. The type of presentation and your audience influence the way you should present. Some important forms of presentations include:
As you can see, there are many different forms of presentations. A short pitch is something entirely different from an extensive lecture, and a presentation where you informally stand in front of colleagues has a completely different purpose than a sales presentation to a potential customer. Therefore, when giving a presentation, it's always important to be aware of the type of presentation it is and the purpose for which you are giving the presentation.
Now that you know the various types of presentations, it's time to answer the question 'How do you give a professional presentation?' Unfortunately, there isn't just one answer to this. Each presentation requires its own approach. However, we can provide you with some examples and tips to strengthen every presentation you give.
Each type of presentation has its own goal. This can be to entertain your audience, sell something, or provide information. During a good presentation, you must always keep this goal in mind. Knowing your goal allows you to tailor your presentation accordingly. The structure of your presentation and the information you share should all contribute to achieving the goal.
To achieve your goal, it's also important to consider your audience. Think about who is listening to your presentation. Are they other professionals who already know a lot about your field? Then you can use industry jargon, and you don't need to explain basic principles. However, if you're trying to sell something to someone with little knowledge of your industry, a clear explanation of basic principles can be extremely valuable.
It may sound a bit cliché, but a solid structure is crucial during a presentation. A strong opening, a clear core, and a powerful ending make a presentation much more successful. In the introduction, you want to grab the attention of your audience; during the core, you elaborate on your message, and at the end, you summarize the key information. While there are other formats possible, if you find presenting challenging, the classic structure can often be very helpful.
Are you giving a longer presentation? It can be challenging to hold your audience's attention. This can be solved by using storytelling. Shape your presentation into an engaging narrative. Activate the curiosity and eagerness to learn of your audience. Storytelling techniques such as a cliffhanger or a plot twist can help. For example, start your introduction with a story, then move on to the information you want to share, and towards the end, reveal the essence of the story. People love it when the presentation describes a circle, so that the end connects to the beginning.
Visual aids can greatly enhance your presentation. This can be a PowerPoint or Prezi, but also smart use of videos or photos can help. These aids not only help to maintain the attention of your audience but can also assist you in structuring your story.
Your story can be excellent, but if you don't know how to tell it well, your point still won't come across. Therefore, for giving a professional presentation, it's extremely important to practice your presentation skills. Skills you can practice include:
Presenting is truly a skill that requires experience. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. By practicing a lot with the above skills, you'll notice improvement. Also, be sure to ask for feedback, for example, from colleagues, to enhance your presentation skills.
The beginning and the end of a presentation are crucial. At the start of the presentation, you want to immediately grab the attention of your audience. If they lose interest here, you won't achieve anything. A strong start to your presentation is, therefore, important. If you choose the storytelling strategy, you can begin your presentation with an interesting anecdote or story. Ensure that you can refer back to this later in the presentation and that it genuinely connects with the core of your presentation.
If you don't want to start with a story, there are plenty of other ways to begin a presentation. Asking a (rhetorical) question to your audience can also work well. It makes your audience think, activating them immediately. Capturing attention with an interesting quote, a captivating photo, or a shocking statistic also works effectively. The key is to quickly capture your audience's attention.
The beginning of your presentation is extremely important, but a good ending is also crucial. People appreciate it when it's clear that the presentation has come to an end. You can choose to announce the literal end of your presentation, but there are also other effective ways to do this.
A good way to conclude your presentation is by referring to something you said during the opening. This way, you close the circle of your presentation, which people often find very satisfying.
If you haven't said anything during your opening that you can refer back to at the end, you can choose to provide a brief summary of your key points at the end of your presentation. Focus on the main points. It's better to leave out details and specific examples here. Avoid introducing new information during this conclusion.
Another strategy you can apply at the end of your presentation is asking a question. It can be a rhetorical question, making your audience think, or an open question where you may not know the answer yourself. Or ask a question that you can answer at another time or through another medium. This keeps your audience curious about your next step.
Being able to present well and professionally is definitely a valuable skill. Whatever you're trying to sell or convey, with good presentation skills, you can achieve this much better. Therefore, invest in your presentation skills so that you can better achieve your goals in presentations.
Professional presenting is effectively and persuasively conveying a message to your audience. It's not just about what you say but also how you say it and how you present yourself. The goal is to captivate, inspire, and inform your audience.
There are different types of presentations, such as:
You give a good presentation by: