Top CEOs and great leaders are always seeking ways to improve their communication and presentation, so why shouldn’t a budding entrepreneur be keen on such skills as well? No reason. How you communicate your business values is key right from the conceptualisation of your business idea, to sourcing for investments, to promotion, branding, growth, customers, sustainability. You have to master the act of communicating your business ideals to target customers and investors.
The following tips were given by Carmine Gallo a Harvard University instructor in the department of Executive Education at the Graduate School of Design. Carmine provided these tips for business professionals who were already great at giving presentations but who want to stay top of their game. Nonetheless, prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners can adopt these.
1) You need to use fewer slides and fewer words.
Let’s say you want to make a business proposal presentation to prospective clients or investors or you are at this function where you are given the opportunity to speak about your business, you have to make your points apt and clean, not full of unnecessary information and repetitions. Sometimes, less is much more. Hit the nail on the head. You may feel you have a truck load of information to share as regards your start-up. This is where intelligence comes in; time, they say, is money. Sell your business. Make prospective customers and investors remember you. PowerPoint presentations should not have too many slides; see how you can reduce 20 slides to less than 10.
2) You don’t need to use bullet points.
Do not show slides with text and bullets. This is the least effective way to get your point across. Simply put: bullet points don’t get any points across. Experiments in memory and communication shows that information delivered in pictures or images is more likely to be remembered than words alone. Humans are incredible at remembering pictures. Spoken or read words are less memorable. Complement text with capturing pictures and videos.
3) You need to enhance your vocal delivery.
To make a capturing speech or presentation, you can pace, pitch, and vary the volume of your voice. Research shows that effective persuaders modulate their voice, and by doing so, appear to be more confident in their argument. They raise their voice when emphasizing a key message, or pause after delivering an important point. Voice modulation makes your presentation more influential, persuasive, and commanding.
4) You need to create “wow” moments.
Naturally, people don’t remember every slide and every word of a presentation. They remember moments. Something you did that made them react in a certain way. Say or do something different from what your prospective customers or investors expect. This could be successful in capturing them because it comes as a surprise. Unexpected moments grab an audience’s attention and clears boredom.
5) You need to rehearse.
Review your slides ahead of time, put in hours of deliberate practice so as to have a brilliant presentation. To excel, you have to put in work. This also applies to your presentations or speeches. Even the world’s greatest speakers have put in the time to go from good to great. Great communication is power. It can take your business to the next level. It can help you land that dream investment deal. And very importantly, it can project you as a SmartPreneur!