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Business Presentations

Speaking Skills and Your Career

Speaking skills

  • Can lead to career success
  • May increase opportunities for promotion
  • Are useful at every career stage
  • Are among the most desired soft skill sought in job applicants


Types of Business Presentations

Briefing: concise summary of an issue, proposal, or problem

Report: informational or persuasive, simple or elaborate, delivered orally

Podcast: prerecorded audio or video clip delivered online

Virtual Presentation: used when collaborating remotely

Webinar: Web-based presentation, lecture, workshop, or seminar


Knowing Your Purpose

What do you want to accomplish?

What do you want your listeners to remember or do?


Knowing Your Audience

  • Anticipate audience reaction.
  • Adjust to their needs, problems.
  • Focus on audience benefits.
  • Choose the best technique and style.


Succeeding With Four Audience Types

  • Friendly
    • Use any organizational pattern.
    • Involve the audience.
    • Be warm, pleasant, open.
    • Include humor, personal anecdotes, and experiences.
  • Neutral
    • Present both sides of the issue; use pro/con or problem/solution pattern.
    • Do nothing showy; use confident, small gestures.
    • Use facts, statistics.
    • Avoid humor, personal stories.
  • Uninterested
    • Be brief.
    • Avoid topical and pro/con patterns.
    • Be dynamic; move around;
      use large gestures.
    • Use humor, colorful visuals, quotations, startling statistics.


  • Hostile
    • Organize using a noncontroversial pattern.
    • Be calm and controlled.
    • Speak evenly and slowly.
    • Include objective data and expert opinion; avoid anecdotes and humor.


Learning Outcome 2

Explain how to organize your business presentation most effectively, and know how to build audience rapport.


Good Organization and Intentional Repetition

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  2. Tell them.
  3. Tell them what you have told them.


Goals in the Introduction

  • Capture listeners’ attention and get them involved.
  • Identify yourself and build your credibility.
  • Preview your main points.


How to Capture Attention

  • Promise – Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Drama – Moving story
  • Demonstration – Audience involvement
  • Samples – Props
  • Quotation – “I have a dream…”
  • Question – ?
  • Eye contact
  • Movement – Leave the lectern.
  • Visual
  • Attire – Credibility
  • Starting statistics – Current event
  • Self-interest


How to Build Credibility

  • Describe your position, knowledge, or experience.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Connect with your audience.


Structuring the Presentation


The Body

  • Focus on a limited number of main points—two to four.
  • Develop each point with adequate explanation and details.
  • Use a clear organizational strategy, for example, chronological order, or journalistic pattern—the six Ws.



The Conclusion

  • Summarize the main themes of the presentation.
  • Leave the audience with a specific, memorable take-away.
  • Include a statement or closing thought that indicates you are finished.


Establishing Audience Rapport

  • Effective Imagery (analogy, simile, metaphor, personal anecdote, personalized statistics)
  • Verbal Signposts (previewing, summarizing, switching directions)
  • Nonverbal Messages (attire, body movement, eye contact, facial expressions)


Learning Outcome 3

Understand contemporary visual aids and how to guard against PowerPoint pitfalls.


The Value of Visual Aids

“Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.”

Purposes of Good Visual Aids

  • Emphasize and clarify main points.
  • Improve comprehension and retention.
  • Increase audience interest.
  • Make speaker appear more professional, better prepared, and more persuasive.
  • Jog the speaker’s memory.


Learning Outcome 4

Create an impressive, error-free multimedia presentation that shows a firm grasp of basic visual design principles.


Preparing Engaging Multimedia Presentations

Analyzing the Situation and Purpose

  • Live presentation?
  • Self-running presentation at a store
  • Saved on server to stream when convenient?
  • Self-contained PowerPoint show? Slide deck?


Adjust Slide Design to Audience

  • The Meaning of color
  • The Power of images
  • The Impact of special effects


“Before” – Ineffective PowerPoint Slide

  • Reasons for Selling Online
    • Your online business can grow globally.
    • Customer convenience
    • You can conduct your business 24/7.
    • No need for renting a retail store or hiring employees.
    • Reduce inquiries by providing policies and a privacy statement.
    • Customers can buy quickly and easily.



“After” – Improved PowerPoint Slide

  • Why You Should Sell Online
    • Grow business globally.
    • Offer convenience to customers
    • Conduct business 24/7
    • Save on rent and staff
    • Create policies to reduce inquiries


Building Your Business Presentation

Organizing: Translate the major headings in your outline into titles for slides. Build bullet points.

Composing: Limit the time you spend on formatting; not every point requires a visual.

Working with templates: Go beyond the standard options; use fresh, unique designs.

Revising and proofreading: Use the slide sorter view to edit; work on clarity and conciseness. Proof for errors.

Evaluating: Is the slideshow appealing? Readable?


Seven Steps to a Powerful Multimedia Presentation

  1. Start with the text.
  2. Select the background and fonts.
  3. Choose images that help communicate your message.
  4. Create graphics.
  5. Add special effects.
  6. Create hyperlinks.
  7. Move your presentation online.


Learning Outcome 5

Specify delivery techniques for use before, during, and after a presentation to keep the audience engaged.


Choose a Delivery Method

  • Memorization
  • Reading from notes
  • Extemporaneous presentation


Does Public Speaking Scare You?

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two fear is death. Death is number two!!! Now, this means, to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

—- Jerry Seinfeld monologue, episode 61 of Seinfeld


Combat Stage Fright

  • Breathe deeply.
  • Convert fear into excitement.
  • Know your topic and come prepared.
  • Use positive self-talk.
  • Take a sip of water.
  • Shift the spotlight to your visuals.
  • Ignore any stumbles.
  • Feel proud when you finish.



Before Your Presentation

  • Prepare thoroughly.
  • Rehearse repeatedly.
  • Time yourself.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Check the room and the equipment.
  • Greet audience members.
  • Practice stress reduction.


During Your Presentation

  • Begin with a pause.
  • Present your first line from memory.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Don’t read from your notes.
  • Control your voice and avoid meaningless fillers.
  • Show enthusiasm.
  • Skip the apologies.
  • Slow down and know when to pause.
  • Don’t just read from the slides.
  • Move naturally.
  • Control visual aids with clickers, pointers, and blank screens.
  • Avoid digressions.
  • Summarize your main points, and drive home your messages.


After Your Presentation

  • Distribute handouts.
  • Encourage questions.
  • Repeat questions.
  • Reinforce your main points.
  • Do not become defensive.
  • Avoid Yes, but
  • End with a summary and appreciation.





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