Firstly, focus on your content. Identify the purpose of the presentation for
The key thing to ask yourself is ‘what’s in it for the audience?’
Once you know the answer to this, you have the foundation for a powerful
Then pay as much attention as you can to the start of your presentation. If
you can engage the audience at the start you’re more likely to keep them. A good
start will contain two things: the most important message in your presentation
and a ‘hook’ to make the audience want to know more.
The best presenters of financial information know they need to communicate
details clearly and concisely with key messages. It’s a good idea to limit the
number of key messages to a maximum of three and ensure these messages are
reinforced throughout the presentation.
Keeping an audience’s attention is quite straightforward if your material is
clearly expressed and shows you understand their world. In a pitch presentation,
the best advice is to demonstrate that you’ve researched the business issues
facing your audience and the current hot topics in their sector.
Now your material has been made over, it’s time to focus on you. The golden
rule is to look confident. This helps your audience settle quickly into your
presentation. Wearing your favourite suit can boost your confidence.
You can also use your image to stand out from the crowd – especially
important in a pitch presentation. For example, Jonathan Hoffman, partner at
Vantis Numerica, is well known for wearing colourful bow ties.
Remember too that top presenters will always rehearse. The minimum number of
rehearsals you can get away with is two. It’s even better if you can video your
rehearsals. This speeds up familiarity with your material and dramatically
Jacqui Harper MBE is the author of ‘Voices of Experience: the
professional’s guide to making great presentations’
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