The room overlooks Sydney’s majestic skyline. You are waiting to present at a conference, and your stomach is a bundle of nerves. This pitch you are about to give will mean the difference between you eating Ramen noodles and eating that Porterhouse for dinner later. Not to make the situation more tense, but the guy before you just did a bang up job with securing the audience’s attention and making a connection with the conference members.
Presenting your ideas to clients who might not be fully invested in the venture, to begin with, can make for a stressful meeting. You want clients to be fully engaged in the presentation, but you also have to provide them with relevant information, whether it is interesting or not. This fact only adds to your stress. However, you can still impress clients with an awesome presentation by preparing in a few ways.
For tips on reducing the stress of presenting to clients, keep reading below.
Go With a Plan
In preparing for your presentation, make sure you know the logistics of the room. With a top-notch outfit, you might find yourself presenting in one of their premium meeting rooms and boardrooms. To avoid bumbling and fumbling with equipment while speaking, make sure to acquaint yourself with the room’s technology. Your audience should have little problem following along if you are comfortable using the room’s smart station.
If you are the one setting up the presentation, make sure that the equipment operates, so audience members can clearly see what is being conveyed on the screen. To avoid distractions while you speak, provide electronic copies of the information needed, as opposed to hard copies which contribute to background noise, so those in the audience can follow along with ease. By addressing technical issues that can mess up the most well thought out presentation, you avoid dealing with mishaps that make you appear nervous, and worse yet, unprofessional.
Beyond the technical snafus that can snag a presentation, confident presenters always have an agenda that prepares the client for the discussion. This agenda does not have to be a detailed one, but one that simply conveys your intent. Additionally, this agenda should always leave time for a question and answer session, so you can address any client concerns.
Change Your Tone
Because you are presenting to like-minded people, your presentation should not be a mono-toned one where you skip through a list of topics on your agenda. Instead, your presentation should really be a conversation between you and the client. In this conversation, you deliver an engaging speech that connects with your client’s needs, but more importantly, conveys the benefits of your ideas to your audience.
Provide Structure to Your Conversation
Without being repetitive, try to structure your discussion around a focal point. In this way, your presentation is not reduced to you imparting random information, but instead, your information connects with the client. While the client might not initially be hooked, they will remember what was said during the meeting.
Let Your Passion Erase any Nervousness
Use your motivation and enthusiasm to calm any nerves you might have. This enthusiasm can be conveyed by telling the audience anecdotal stories as examples of concepts you would like to impart. In addition to these stories, use humour to wake up the crowd. By the time you are at the question and answer session, your nervousness would have subsided, and you will probably be pleasantly surprised to find your clients love your proposal.
Speaking to Impress Not to Stress
Public speaking is a plague that all entrepreneurs must conquer to be successful. However, presenting yourself and your ideas to clients does not have to be a stressful event. In fact, you might find that by relaxing and enjoying this part of your profession that giving presentations is as easy as the more social parts of being an entrepreneur.