Less is More – Tips for Business Presentations

This opening slogan holds more value than you probably think. In business presentations, you should practise it by limiting your content to the essentials. But how to decide on what those are and how to achieve this challenging goal? Start with these four steps:

  • State what you want to achieve with your presentation. Ask yourself this: what do I want the audience to do? Decide clearly here, because this decision will have impact.
  • Choose content: select only those arguments or examples that will best support and show your objective. Go with one, two or maximum of three main points.
  • Find out as much about the members of the audience as you can. Try to analyse audience by their:
  • seniority
  • experience
  • possible attitude
  • engagement and interest
  • and the total number of people you are talking to.

Basing on these, choose what your content should be: detailed, general, basic, direct, official or playful.

  • Paraphrase. Usually, our first attempts at putting thoughts into presentation result in longish sentences and mere waffle. To do better, go over your outline, and say it differently. And again, try once more. While paraphrasing, try to be as concise as possible to make the most out of your presentation time.
  • Forget the templates. Sometimes you may want to go along with your comfortable, long business template and base on the convention your colleagues have been using for ages. Don’t do it if you know the audience won’t understand or like it. Plus, there’s some common slide mistakes:
  • too much text on the slides,
  • too little font (make it at least 30 points)
  • way too many slides.

Remember – presentations are for presenting, whitepapers are for reading. If you need to send out the content to the attendees, convert it into a pdf file or duplicate your presentation, and add more info there. Just don’t go with this version when presenting.

That’s it. Less is more – waste no words.  

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