Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could walk away from a presentation knowing that you did a good job?
Business Advice: How to Impress Clients during a Presentation
Or more than a good job. A good job would mean that you gave your clients the relevant information in a clear and engaging way, and now they feel motivated to do business with you.
But you probably want more than that. You want them to be blown away by your talent and perhaps even a little bit jealous.
That’s because every entrepreneur understands that their ability to deliver great presentations is critical to their future success.
That’s when you need to show your clients why they should work with you, and it’s often the deciding factor in whether or not they accept your offer.
Your clients will expect natural, coherent and consistent presentations supported by professional-looking slides.
They are not interested in data-dense slides delivered by monotonous speakers.
This means that your two main focus points should be creating presentations with quality content and finding ways to talk about the content without boring your audience.
Here are our suggestions on how to impress clients during a presentation.
Understand What Your Clients Are Looking For
It’s best to ask for feedback from your clients on what they would want to see included in your presentation before you begin working on it. Typically, they will have some areas of concern, and they will welcome your inquiry.
Not asking and simply guessing could result in success, but it could also result in a presentation that is disconnected and fails to offer the facts that your clients are most interested in.
For instance, if right now one of your clients is primarily interested in growing their business, the best way to get their attention is to talk about new channels to explore, the resources they’ll need to expand, challenges, chances of success, and how to measure performance.
By getting their feedback, you’ll be able to personalize your presentation to their specific needs, rather than sifting through numerous ideas in the hope that at least a couple of them will get them to listen.
Make Sure You’re Well Prepared
No matter how charming you are, it is never smart to go into a presentation unprepared.
You’ll want to start by learning as much as you can about the people who will be listening to your presentation.
Fortunately, these days you can access this information with just a few clicks.
Google, Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter will all be extremely handy in this situation. See what information you can use in your pitch.
When making your slides, don’t overload them with information and don’t read from them. Their role is to highlight the most important topics you’ll talk about.
Reading from them makes you look unprepared, and it’s also boring because your audience can skim through the information faster than you can read aloud. You can use notes if you’re worried you might forget something.
Adding some music for presentation can also help to liven things up. It will show your clients that this won’t be another tedious presentation.
What works best is something universally liked and uplifting.
There’s a good chance you’ll get some questions at the end of your presentation. Consider a few possibilities and practice responding quickly and confidently.
If you look like you’re comfortable answering questions, your clients will feel encouraged to ask, and you’ll be able to address their concerns.
Finally, keep in mind that what your clients care about the most is what they can gain from your products or services and not the products and services in and of themselves.
Focus on this rather than detailed technical descriptions.
Don’t Forget About Body Language
Public speaking is a very common fear. According to some estimates, up to 70% of the population is afraid of public speaking. Giving a presentation is a form of public speaking, so it’s natural to feel nervous.
To reduce your anxiety, instead of focusing on how you might be perceived, imagine you’re simply having a conversation, and you’re trying to explain something. Shift your focus on your explanation and the arguments you’re most confident about.
Your clients are people just like you, and they didn’t make time to meet with you so they can pick apart your presentation. They want to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Of course, you’ll want to practice the presentation beforehand and record yourself to see if your body language looks natural, but what will help the most is to try to reframe the situation, so it makes you less nervous.
Another thing to watch out for is using too many filler words like “um,” “like,” and “you know?” People usually do this to avoid silence.
However, instead of using filler words, it’s better to just take a couple of seconds to gather your thoughts. It doesn’t make a bad impression as people imagine and your clients will also get a chance to evaluate your points which makes them more engaged.
Encourage Open Communication
Another reason why you shouldn’t avoid silent pauses is that they provide an opportunity for your clients to ask you questions and give feedback.
This makes them more engaged, so they’re more likely to remember the things you say, but it also gives you a chance to hear and address their concerns.
After you spend so much time doing research, making the slides, and practicing, you’ll mostly be focused on what you have to say but what the clients have to say is just as important.
Some clients won’t need that much encouragement. If they want to clarify something, they’ll speak up even it means interrupting.
Others might be more introverted, and they’ll remain silent unless you give them a clear cue that you want them to ask questions and communicate openly.
You can do this by taking silent breaks every couple of slides, as we mentioned earlier, but you should also ask them for feedback directly.
You could say something like: “Do you have any questions for me?” and “What are your thoughts on this?”