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Account Management’s Top Tips for Presenting With Confidence

Written by Tiffany | 02-Dec-2013 17:25:00

Presentations make up a big part of any role within the Account Management team here at equimedia, whether it’s presentations to customers, or internal presentations to the team. We get lots of presentation training, and lots of practice!

Everyone has a different presentation style, and there are tons of blogs, articles and tips out there on the web focusing on various styles and successful presenters (think Steve Jobs’ infamous Apple product launch presentations). This blog post aims to share with you some of our top tips for a successful presentation.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our tips, and for you to share your tips with us as well, so please leave a comment in the box at the bottom. Enjoy!

Top tip #1 – Take time to plan your presentation
This is all about ensuring you have the time to sit and think before you start writing. This helps ensure a central focus for the presentation, which is necessary when briefing sections of the presentation out to colleagues in other teams.

• Think audience
  o Who are you presenting to?
  o How senior are they? Do they want a top line summary, or lots of detail?

• Think why
  o What is the reason for the meeting and presentation?
  o What are the key messages you want the people you’re presenting to to leave the meeting remembering?

Top tip #2 – Plan the presentation flow
Thinking about the flow of the presentation, we find, helps to make sure you communicate the key messages clearly and simply and that the slide order ‘tells a story’, instead of jumping from point to point with little coherence.

Start with the key messages and build from there. Ensure you have supporting information to illustrate the key messages (whether that’s research, data or examples) and bring the message to life. Finish with a clear and concise summary. A catch title tied to the meeting objective helps to!

Top tip #3 – Think about the layout and design of your deck
Whether PowerPoint is your strong point or not, the visual element of the presentation is important, and something worth taking your time over, rather than rushing last minute.

Following steps 1 and 2 above should have helped you decide on key messages, the order of the presentation and the overall style - Don’t forget to “think audience” and “think why”!

When it comes to the slides themselves we find clean slides, focused on a single message work best. Include statement headline messages that work to support the key messages and include relevant visuals where possible. Avoid death by bullet points and overly text-heavy slides. 

An extra tip from me - a great app for producing simple and visual presentations is Haiku Deck which you can download from iTunes

Finally, don’t forget to write your notes! If you have a sound set of notes to compliment the slides then you avoid cramming too much text on the slide, and we find that helps when presenting the deck as well, as you then won’t rely on reading directly from the slide, and you can focus on engaging your audience. 

Top tip #4 – Have a run through of the presentation as practice
It’s worth planning at least one run through of the document, so you can see how well the document flows. Practising also throws up some good sound bites you can use to voice over the detail on the slide – which you can add to your notes.

Things to think about when presenting include;

All of the above relate back to the first point; “think audience” and “think why”.

Finally, top tip #5 – Be prepared!
Ensure you give yourself enough time to relax and settle before the meeting begins, to avoid any panic or nerves. Get yourself organised, and think about;

• Getting started
  o Seems like an obvious one, but leave yourself plenty of time to get there and set up!
• Setting up the room for the audience
  o How many people will there be?
  o Refreshments?
• Presentation aids
  o Do you need a laptop to present from? Do you have the right connection?
  o Do you need to prepare handouts?
  o Do you need an internet connection for features within the document?