Delivering presentations is no joke; it requires plenty of research, preparation, presentation design skills, and confidence to even get the ball rolling. However, what truly counts the most, at the end of the day, is to get real results!
So, how do you design and deliver presentations that influence decision-makers to take the plunge and put their faith in what you have got to offer? Here are 5 presentation tips that will help you do a better job at persuading decision-makers with your presentations, regardless of whether they are your managers, colleagues, customers, or prospective clients.
How to Effectively Persuade Key Decision Makers With Your Presentations
Tip #1: Make the Decision-making Process Easier For Them
Did you know, most of us make as many as 35,000 decisions per day, on an average? As you can guess, this figure would typically be way higher for key decision-makers!
So, if required, break the problem down into bite-sized pieces to make the decision-making process seem a bit less daunting for them. To achieve this, use short and concise lists clubbed together on the same slide in your presentation, instead of long paragraphs stretching over multiple slides. Not only will this make problem comprehension easier for them, but they might even thank you for it.
Tip #2: Make Sure You Get Your Point Across Effectively
Most decision-makers are detail-oriented and appreciate sensible recommendations. However, it’s your job to design a presentation that makes the decision-makers feel confident about your recommendations being well-informed, accurate, logical, and defensible. Of course, no one likes a poorly constructed idea.
To demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, you will need to present your thinking clearly. Using sufficient data to back your recommendations and presenting it in the form of crisp and relevant graphs (instead of a table) will help you get your point across effectively, without confusing your audience. If needed, you may also provide the datasheets or a comprehensive appendix separately, at the end of the presentation, for them to look at, whenever necessary.
Tip #3: Keep it Short and Simple
We’re all busy with work. Let alone key decision-makers and senior executives. Most of them will be more than happy if you initially come up with brief summaries in your presentation, with only the most crucial bits flagged or highlighted in the content you present, and share more information only when requested for. Also, if you have been allowed 30 minutes for the presentation, for example, you should try and keep 15-20 minutes for delivering it and save the remaining for the Q&A session or discussions.
Tip #4: Give Importance to Presentation Training and Preparation
Designing a perfect presentation isn’t the end-game; in fact, it’s just the beginning. When preparing for your presentation, you need to keep in mind what presentation approach might suit the decision-makers the most, and you might even need to tailor your approach to address each one of them equally well. For example, if the decision-maker you’re present to is talkative and energetic but also results-oriented, you should be prepared for answering their surprise questions with facts, data, and confidence – or you might lose their support.
There are so many other aspects related to mindset and body language which will come in handy during such crucial presentations, which we specifically train our clients for during our presentation training sessions. It’s worth noting that one of the only ways to ensure success with your presentations is to at least have either sufficient training in advance or plenty of experience with delivering presentations – the former solution being more like a shortcut to take if you’d rather not spend years learning through trial and error, but instead want hands-on expert guidance.
Tip #5: Never Raise Any Red Flags
As you may already know, most decision-makers are a bit more sceptical than the rest of us. So, presenting or saying anything that might conflict with their opinion, knowledge, or experience, might be a bad idea. More importantly, don’t be disrespectful or say things like: “I am surprised that someone at your level…” Rather focus more on informing or helping them make better decisions than judging them personally.
Not having answers to their basic questions may also raise red flags, so doing your homework is of utmost importance too. If you can have a team of presentation experts grill you while you give a demo presentation before the D-Day, it might turn out to be more valuable than any other advice we have shared in this post.
There is so much more to delivering presentations than using departmental verbiage, complex charts, and hand gestures. Every single aspect, from design to mindset, needs to be considered, well in advance. You need to carefully choose what your audiences need to see and hear, and precisely in what format. In case your audience changes, so should your approach and the language you use.
By making a small investment towards learning how to influence decision-makers effectively, you can potentially leave a large, positive impact on not just the stakeholders, but also on the future of your organisation.