One might well believe that the process of preparing a business presentation could consist of a mix of anxiety compounded by a number of associated problems.
Yet it may not even occur to you that listening to a tedious and monotonous presentation could be a dreadful experience (or, to be honest, pure torture).
An overuse of text …. and the audience just zones out. Actually, it’s this very example where words can turn into powerful weapons – weapons that can stifle everyone’s attention in one fell swoop.
Dull presentations may not only reduce sales but also erode a company’s reputation.
So, in order to prevent listeners from becoming the victims of the presentation and, in fact, show them a trustworthy company culture, we’ve prepared for you a list of research-based business presentation tips. Use them to ace your next business presentation!
In case you want to skip right to the tips:
- Pay attention to eye-contact
- Focus attention on your appearance and posture
- Try to engage the audience
- Practice makes perfect
- Try to assure everyone that your point of view is right
- Do not create something really complicated and intricate
- Do not overfill the presentation with unnecessary information
- Use those colors and fonts that are easy to see and read
- Visuals, visuals and once again ….. visuals!
- Show a genuine interest in what you’re talking about
How do people perceive the information? In order to understand how you can influence the audience, you should, first of all, learn about the ways that information is perceived.
Gregory’s Top-Down Processing Theory
Richard Gregory, a British psychologist, was convinced that perception is a process which is based on top-down processing. It means that information is pretty ambiguous, so in order to interpret it, we need to assess our expectations, convictions, and knowledge that comes along with the experience.
As you can probably appreciate, we create an idea about something big from tiny details that already exist in our mind.
If we were to talk about some experiments that prove this theory, it would be appropriate to mention one particular test. Gregory demonstrates using a Charlie Chaplin mask.
Yeah, it may seem that nothing is untoward with this ordinary mask yet, when you see the hollow part of it, it reconstructs the man’s face in 3-dimension even though it is concave and this reconstruction will be based on past experience and expectations.
What else do we know about this theory?
- About 90% of information is lost by the time it reaches the brain;
- Received visual information is combined with past experience and this very fact, actually, constructs our perception of reality;
- The recognition of images is based on contextual information.
Regarding the top-down processing theory, such tips about info design can be detailed thus:
Sanocki and Sulman’s Color Relations Experiment
Thomas Sanocki and Noah Sulman conducted an experiment in order to find out how the combinations of colors influence short-term memory.
They chose a variety of harmonic and disharmonic color palettes. At each step of the experiment, they showed people two different palettes, one at a time, within a particular period of time of each other.
Testees had to work out whether the palettes were identical. In addition to this, they were asked to say which combinations of colors were considered to be pleasant or unpleasant.
So, how did the colors affect our visual perception?
- Those palettes that had matched colors, and not more than three colors, were more noticeable
- The contrast between background and text can help to concentrate focus on the context
- It’s possible to remember various color combinations simultaneously
Regarding Sanocki and Sulman’s color relations experiment, such tips about info design can be denoted as follows:
Binocular Rivalry Phenomenon
During the experiment, Frank Tong, Ken Nakayama, J. Thomas Vaughan and Nancy Kanwisher drew a conclusion: when people look at two different pictures at one time, they are subjected to a phenomenon known as a binocular rivalry.
One of them dominates, while the other one is suppressed.
So, it means that we don’t perceive two pictures simultaneously. We perceive them one after the other and, moreover, even see them as two rivals for a dominant image.
Regarding binocular rivalry phenomenon, such tips about info design can be denoted thus:
Larson and Ricard’s Experiment on Typography Influence
Kevin Larson and Rosalind Picard conducted an experiment and found out how typography influences a reader’s mood. Actually, they implemented two particular aspects of research and twenty people took part in each of them.
They gave testees The New Yorker magazine and twenty minutes to read it. The first group got the text with a bad typography, while the second group – with a good one.
Over the course of the research, people were interrupted and asked how much time had passed from the beginning of the experiment. It turned out that people who were in a great mood found this task easy to accomplish.
Moreover, they thought that they spent a lesser amount of time on reading. After the first part of the research, people were asked to pin a candle to the wall with the help of the thumbtacks in such a way that wax didn’t drip.
Finally, testees who were reading text with a good typography showed more interest in the articles than the others. Furthermore, no one from those who were reading text with a bad typography could solve the task with the candle, while the other group of people was more successful.
It can mean that good typography has an impact on dealing with problems.
Regarding Larson and Picard’s experiment on typography influence, such tips about info design can be summed up as follows:
Castelhano and Henderson’s Scene Perception Study
Monica Castelhano and John Henderson found out how color influences our ability to perceive the gist of a scene.
Their experiment had three particular tests. Students were shown hundreds of photos of nature and different objects in a certain sequence. The colorful photos were presented along with monochromatic ones. Moreover, they also showed photos with abnormal colors.
In general, it turned out that people can pick up on the gist of a scene in just a few seconds. In addition to this, it was found that colors tend to define the structure of objects.
Regarding Castelhano and Henderson’s scene perception study, such tips about info design can be summed up as follows:
Secrets Are Revealed: Here are 10 Business Presentation Tips to Stand By
To begin with, you should pay attention to some ordinary, but, nevertheless, crucial points that will help you to give an exciting and persuasive presentation.
Frankly speaking, eye-contact can be considered one of the most important things when reaching out to an audience.
It’s not a big secret that people who use minimal eye-contact can sometimes be considered as not being very confident and even disinterested.
If you’re not used to public presentations, you can always try looking over the heads of the listeners or find a particular object in the room on which to focus (anyway, it should not be really far away from you, so choose something in the middle distance).
It is said that first impressions are half the battle.
As you can probably appreciate, the dress code is a prime rule that you must follow. Just dress formally and acknowledge your brief brush with fame. By the way, keep in mind that you should stand up straight, so no slouching!
Actually, you can ask a lot of questions. They can create interest and intrigue your listeners.
In addition to this, ask them to pose some questions of their own if they are interested in specific details that were not mentioned.
Without a doubt, everyone has heard this phrase. If we’re talking about presentations, you should definitely look through your notes a lot of times, check out the technology ( projector, PowerPoint slides, laptop etc.) and be sure that it works.
Furthermore, it would be nice to rehearse your speech and find out how you look and sound. By the way, when you start to talk, a lot of anxiety and stress will disappear.
Now we will proceed to more specific rules in order to help you develop a superb business presentation.
It’s a well-known fact that you present the information not for yourself, but for the audience.
That’s why you should capture their attention in order to make them believe in you being right. Channel all your efforts into achieving this as your goal.
To tell the truth, a simple presentation with understandable explanations that are accompanied by some graphics can turn out to be a marvelous purveyor of information. Just emphasize your words with some images and success will follow.
To start with, you should just stick to the point. It’s crucial to focus on this very point and organize the presentation around it. Do not be distracted and do not distract an audience from the most important issues.
If you want to add something special to your presentation, you can take a glance at these two PowerPoint templates made by TemplateMonster. Each of them can help you to add a visual trick to your repertoire.
Evolution is a brand new multipurpose PowerPoint template that will provide your presentation with a spectacular look. It comes with 5 pre-made colors and 5000 total slides which are fully editable. Bring your business to the next level using this template!
Ultimate is a template that will serve as a perfect addition to your presentation. It has tons of slides which can be edited and, moreover, 5 pre-set colors. Add some brightness and create a positive impression using this template!
As we have touched on the topic of PowerPoint presentations, we should share some tips about making them a little bit more interesting and absorbing.
You have already read about experiments on information perception, but, actually, let’s go back to this aspect one more time to make some additions.
Don’t ignore the fact that colors should have adequate contrast, otherwise it will be really difficult or even impossible to read. Moreover, pay attention to the font size and do not use small letters.
No one wants to read slides full of text. Research has shown that one of the most annoying things that can be inflicted on their audience by presenters is slides overflowing with an excessive amount of text.
If you want to present numeric data, use some diagrams and graphs to do it. To tell the truth, there are numerous different ways to present information through visual presentations. Have no doubt about that and try to use them to their best advantage.
Creately can help you make your presentation more impressive with the help of visual aids.
You have a chance to create various flowcharts, organizational charts, mind maps, infographics and so and so forth.
All of these diagrams will help you simplify complex ideas and make the presentation visually pleasurable and exciting.
Grab this opportunity and spice up your speech using this great service!
The last tip should be considered a common sense one to every possible presentation.
Now let’s just imagine that you’re not the one who is going to present something, but the one who is going to watch and listen.
What do you want to hear? You want to be confronted by a persuasive and interesting presentation during which you won’t have any desire to pick up a pillow and sleep, sleep, sleep…
Ideally, what do you want to see? Someone who is really excited about the presentation? Someone who shows a passionate interest in what he/she is talking about?
That’s why you need to become this very person. Push yourself beyond the limits and make it possible to achieve your long-awaited goal.
Anymore Business Presentation Tips?
So, if you want to follow this spectacular path to success, you should definitely take into consideration all the rules that you’ve just read. With their help, you won’t ruin your business presentation.
By the way, if you want to find out plenty of useful tips regarding business presentations, you can download this book and learn everything that you need to know about this very topic.
Color schemes, icons, quotes, and pieces of advice on many other things are already waiting for you. Just follow this step-by-step guide and you will, without a doubt, impress everyone with your presentation.
We really hope that this article has been useful to you. If you have any additions or thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Thanks for reading and may your presentation be the best!