It’s one of the most effective methods to share your company story, where you have some time to make your case. Don’t waste a great opportunity to showcase the very best of your brand with presentation mistakes you can easily avoid.
Take note of these 5 presentation mistakes that could cost you clients:
1.) Insufficient preparation
Presentation prep should go beyond putting together PowerPoint slides. While slide design is certainly important (as we’ll discuss later on), you should also take the time to do some research, prepare your materials, and practice your delivery.
Start preparing for your presentation as early as possible. This will give you enough leeway if you decide to change some things, or if you realize that you might need professional help. You should also iron out the most practical details of your presentation.
Give yourself an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the venue you’re speaking at. That way, you can learn the technical requirements of the equipment you’ll be using and avoid the awkward “technical difficulties” spiel.
2.) Boring and generic PowerPoint designs
You can’t make a favorable impression if you’re using PowerPoint designs that your audience has seen time and again. Don’t settle for the generic PowerPoint templates. It’s important that your slides are designed to fit the theme of your discussion.
Incorporate your brand into your PowerPoint design, and make sure that your key points are well-illustrated through interesting images and graphics.
3.) Sounding too much like a sales pitch
While you definitely want to seal the deal, your presentation should also have more than just a plea to get hired.
Don’t be tempted to go down the sales pitch route. Showcase your brand by presenting how and why it’s significant to your audience. You have to appeal to their emotions and experiences. Presenting a bunch of data that supposedly shows why your services are the best in the industry won’t do anything if you can’t say why it matters to your audience.
Consider these tips while preparing your presentation content, inspired by Certified Speaking Professional Terri Langhans:
- Research details about your audience
- Identify three to four of your key attributes that you think are important to them
- Ask yourself: What could they benefit from these attributes and why is that important?
4.) Poor and uninspiring delivery
There are three components to an effective presentation: content, design, and delivery. Your content may be compelling. Your PowerPoint design may be breathtaking. But if you deliver your presentation by mumbling to yourself, all your effort becomes moot.
Luckily, poor delivery is one of the presentation mistakes you can easily remedy. The Internet is a wonderful source of inspiration. Watch Steve Jobs introduce the first iPhone here. Observe how he makes use of an energetic performance and take note of his movements and speech patterns.
5.) Tuning out the audience
If you were in the audience, would you trust a presenter talking AT you? Don’t make the mistake of tuning out your audience. The point of your presentation is to introduce your brand and create a favorable impression.
If you go through your presentation without so much as a quick glance at your audience, you won’t succeed in your mission. Make eye contact with a few individuals in the audience. Smile throughout your presentation. You can also mention that you’ll be taking inquiries at the end of the presentation.
Do whatever it takes to make sure that your presentation is inviting and inclusive.
Langhans, Terri. “Get More Clients by Avoiding 3 Deadly Presentation Mistakes.” Sales and Marketing. Accessed July 10, 2014.
“Marketing.” Entrepreneur. Accessed July 10, 2014.
Featured Image: Clover Autrey via Flickr