Whether you’re presenting for the first time or the hundredth and whether it’s a new client or a regular, giving a presentation in front of a room full of people never gets any easier. The main key to a successful presentation every time is preparation. The better you know who your clients are and what they’re looking for, the better chance you have at impressing them. However, it’s not always possible to be prepared for everything, so keep these points in your mind.
Slow and to the Point
Your client may not be up to date with the latest lingo. Therefore, if your presentation is full of jargon or abbreviations, you may lose your clients before you’ve even begun. Assume nothing. Put your presentation into language that everyone in the room can understand. It’s important to remember that your client doesn’t want to spend an age in a meeting room, so the quicker you can get to the point, the better. Of course, making a good impression is important, but no one likes a show off.
Be Ready for Questions
By the time you’ve finished your presentation, your client is bound to be busting with questions. Be prepared for as many questions as you can fathom, but don’t try to dodge awkward questions. A client will have far more respect for you if you’re able to say, ‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out’ rather than try to pull the wool over their eyes. This is especially important if your clients are first-timers. You need to build a relationship based on trust, so they need to be able to believe everything you’re saying. If you work from home, finding out how to make your home workspace more productive could be exactly what you need for initiating that client relationship.
If your client is relaxed, they’re certainly more receptive to what you have to say. Offer your client a beverage and make sure the seating is comfortable. Engage in some small talk before the meeting begins to break the ice and lower any guards your clients may have put up. It’s always a good idea to keep spare ink cartridges around and print off basic versions of your presentation for your client to look at and take with them. You can print off more there and then if your client wants to share your presentation with colleagues later in the day.
Paint a Visual
Businesses that tell a story through a presentation are often far more successful than businesses that jump straight in with costs and production. It’s important to capture the imagination of your clients and make them feel excited about the prospect of working with you. Give examples of glowing customer stories and slaying evil competitors. Your clients have seen the latest research data time and time again; they want to know how you can help them in specifics. It often helps to have simple visuals on the screen as you make your presentation.
Presenting to clients old and new may never get easier, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ace every one.