8 Simple Steps for Successful Presentations

8 Simple Steps to a Successful Meeting
Here are 8 simple steps for successful presentations.  Whether you are in an interview, business meeting, or sales call, these steps will make your meetings more successful.

  1. Before you go to a meeting, do your homework on the person and the organization of the people in your meeting. Use this research to show how what you are presenting fits the needs to of your audience or buyers.
  2. Know what types of information will interest the people you are meeting. If they hate a lot of facts and figures, don’t burden them with graphs and charts that will turn them off.  Keep your presentation to what, when, and where.
  3. Know the goals of the people you are meeting. Do they want to increase sales, even at the expense of low margins? Create an advertising campaign with a reduced sales price that will draw customers into their stores. Do they want a sales campaign that shows how their store sells quality products? Create a sales campaign that associates their store brand and your product with images of quality and integrity.
  4. Know how the buying process works. If you are selling to a buyer who will need to present your information to a committee for decision, prepare a presentation that is simple, compelling, and easy to understand. If you are in a business meeting where you simply need to give people an update, focus your presentation on the key facts that these people need to know.
  5. Prepare your presentation for the size of your meeting. If you audience is small, you can hand everyone a copy of your information. If your meeting is large, use a screen to show the key points of your presentation.
  6. Keep your presentation simple. Have a key phrase that will deliver the benefits of your message. In presenting the iPod presentation, Steve Jobs focused on the ease and convenience of the iPod by saying, “A thousand tunes in your pocket.”
  7. Stay positive. Don’t trash your competitor or the ideas of other people in your meeting.  Focus on what is right about what you are presenting and not what is wrong with the ideas of other people.  If you do need to contrast your ideas with those of others, do so in a positive way.
  8. End with a call to action.  For example, ask this type of question. “Should we begin on the first or second week of the month?”

Image: reynermedia/Flickr

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