How often have you been to a networking meeting and agonised over how difficult it is to present your business in 45 or 60 seconds? We all have so much more we want to share about our business. My biggest advice? Find an opportunity for a 10 min slot – then follow my steps to wrapping your business story up in a tidy, confident presentation.
Most business networking groups today, generally allow an opportunity to present your business in a more formal 10 or 15-minute slot, usually using Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s equivalent, Key Note. However, many business owners I meet are highly reluctant to seize this fabulous opportunity due to lack of experience and confidence in presenting.
In my workshop Presenting You and Your Business, I share lots of practical tips to build your confidence in presenting your business. And that’s what it comes down to essentially – CONFIDENCE.
So, what does confidence come down to?
I work a lot with my clients on this topic – it touches on so many areas in business. But in this instance we are looking at it in two ways:
- where you are able to stand up and speak for 10mins (as the human in your business) and
- where you are assured that the information you are sharing comes from a place of knowing
Confidence is the quality of being certain of your abilities. Your clients and colleagues view you as the expert, the one they turn to – to guide them on your topic/field. Own it…and grasp this as your impetus to have the confidence to stand up in front of a group of people. (This does come with practice I will say!)
Steps to your confident presentation
In my workshop I work through lots of exercises to help you practice your presentation and delivery in a safe space, but in the meantime – I’ve listed some steps to get you started:
Step 1 – Plan Your Message
Before you even open your computer to create your presentation, take a few moments to plan what you want to say. Break the 10 minutes down into segments perhaps, and ask yourself some of these questions:
- Do you want to share some information about yourself and your journey to being a business owner?
- What are the key messages you want the audience to walk away with about your business?
- What product/service do you offer? (Or do you want to focus on one for this presentation)
- What makes you different from other businesses that do what you do?
- Who is your customer and how do people buy from you?
- What key messages do you want people to remember?
Step 2 – Design the delivery
This is the part where you then plot your PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentation. My suggestion is to keep the slides down to 5 in total for a 10 min presentation. This gives you about 2mins on each slide on average. Use a loose structure of:
- Slide 1 – opening / introduction
- Slide 2 to 4 – about your business
- Slide 5 – summary
Remember, the slides are for your audience, not for you so what do you want them to see? If you need prompts – perhaps have some small key cards (instead of using your presentation as the prompt).
Step 3 – Practice
Even the most experienced public speakers practice, practice, practice. They may look as if they are speaking “off the cuff”, but they rarely are. The fact that they have practiced means that they don’t need to constantly refer to their notes or read from their slides and can make eye contact with their audience, making them feel connected with them and their message. This will make all the difference.
I would suggest first practising a couple of times in front of a mirror and test your timing. Then, when you are ready, perhaps do it once or twice in front of family or friends. It can be useful to video yourself as well – so you can get a feeling of what your audience will see.
The idea is to practice until you don’t need your slides at all.
Step 4 – Project confidence
Now that you have heavily practised the content of your presentation, you can focus on how you deliver your content to your audience. At this point you may ask me: How do you appear confident when inside you are so nervous you can’t imagine getting to the end of your presentation?
My quick answer to that is that practice helps (so do a lot of Step 3). After all, you know your business, so if you can almost forget the slides and look forward…engaging the audience, you will naturally appear more confident.
There are some physical tips though:
- stand tall and stand in a place where the audience can see both you and the projector
- stand with your feet slightly apart, so you are solidly balanced and centre your body weight (reduces swaying, or falling over your feet)
- make eye contact with as many people in the audience as you can (if you’re feeling very nervous, start by making eye contact with the people you know. You’re bound to receive some reassuring nods and smiles)
- moderate the pace and tone of your voice (if you’re a naturally fast speaker, practice slowing down a little. If you aren’t sure whether you are projecting your voice so that everyone can hear you, just ask the audience at the start of your presentation. They will immediately warm to the fact that you’ve even asked)
Step 5 – Dress for success
By this I mean – wear an outfit that makes you feel great. Ensure that you are comfortable, so that what you are wearing doesn’t even factor into your nervousness.
I hope my tips have helped. Please do comment below and ask me any questions you may have around delivering a 10minute presentation on your business. I’d be so pleased to hear if you have booked that next 10min slot for your business – do let me know how it goes!