Eight Great Tips for Great Business Presentations
Some international professionals working in the USA who are unaccustomed to speaking in front of people might find that doing a business presentation for an American business audience can be a bit challenging and, maybe, even a bit unsettling. Here are a few tips to help internationals in the USA prepare for presentations for a largely American business audience.
Maybe, it’s a business presentation for clients or customers, a marketing group, salespeople, engineers, or senior management. No matter who your audience is and no matter what your presentation is for, these tips will keep you focused so that you can effectively deliver your presentation.
Don’t wait until one or two days before a business presentation to read these tips and think that they alone will be helpful. These tips are for practice and preparation before the big presentation. So read them, understand them, and use them to practice and prepare well in advance. Don’t wait until the day before the presentation to practice and prepare.
Business Presentation Tips
These presentation tips are easy to understand and use, and they will help those who use them.
1) Record yourself, and listen to yourself. Yes, it can be difficult to listen to yourself. Some people have a hard time with it. But you really have to get over that. When you practice, record yourself. Listen to the recording and tell yourself what you want to change and what you can do better. Then record yourself again, and listen again. You’ll hear the improvement. You are your best critic and, maybe, even your most honest critic.
2) Keep a steady pace. Monitor your speed. Don’t go too fast. Slow down. Be aware of multi-syllable words. Do not rush them. Those who have worked on pronouncing multi-syllable words have heard this before. Be careful not to speed up when you say longer words, meaning words with more than three syllables or even just three syllables.
3) Be sure you do not increase your speed suddenly or unexpectedly. Keep an even steady pace. Pause to take a breath after phrases, and let the breath out as you speak.
4) Again, take a breath after you pause and as you’re getting ready to speak again. Don’t try to say too much with one breath. Pace yourself and say as much as you can handle in one breath. Pacing yourself and not saying too much in one breath will help you keep your speech even, steady, and confident sounding.
5) Remember not to punctuate the last syllable of a phrase or a sentence. The idea is to not end a sentence in a way that sounds to short and quick. This could sound too sudden or abrupt to your audience. Let your voice get lower, or be sure that your intonation falls when you come to the end of a phrase, clause, or sentence. This is really another topic. Those who have had pronunciation or accent training have heard this before.
6) Emphasize important words. Push out words that are important.
7) Use variations in volume and tone. Add stress to words in order to emphasize information that you want to highlight. Add stress to words in order to contrast thoughts and ideas or different services and products. Add stress to important words that introduce a new topic area or subtopic of your presentation. As you’re approaching the end of a subtopic in your presentation, decrease your volume. This helps people follow you. It helps them know and understand that you’ve ended one section or topic area, and you are now beginning a new section or topic area.
8) Be sure that your voice is not too soft. After you pause, take a breath, and let the breath out as you speak. Practice taking deeper breaths. Again, relax and let the breath out as you speak. If your voice is soft, then try to increase your volume a little at a time. Using more volume might feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice you can increase your volume and have a more powerful voice. Adding power to your voice, projecting better, being more expressive, and varying your volume will keep your audience more engaged in your presentation. Your audience will appreciate a stronger, more powerful, and more expressive voice. You will communicate your message effectively. You will succeed, and you will do the greatest business presentation ever.