How to Update Your Business Presentations for 2021

When you’re delivering a presentation to an audience, it’s not really about the slides you create – or how they look. Appearance does matter and you should make sure that your presentation is professional and properly formatted. Still, this is just a final step of your preparation, a simple polishing before you get in front of the audience.

A person can spend days creating a presentation. They can research endlessly, scour the net for the most inviting presentation themes, and make sure to include relevant content in their slides. When they get in front of the audience, all their efforts can go to waste.

Why is this?

In some cases, it is the confidence that ruins your chances to impress with a presentation. You can be too confident or lack this part. In other cases, it's your body language and your manner of speaking. There's also the matter of speaking for too long or having a bad presentation. Lastly, there's one thing that is a common issue with most presentations today – they are not updated to meet the current requirements.


If you focus your presentation on basic tools and tricks provided in all those guides you’ve read so far, you’re only half-way there. People will expect you to follow up with the latest trends. This is why you need to ensure that everything about your presentation is in place so that you can achieve your goals.

So, pull up your sleeves, find the best project management tools to get yourself organized, and follow the tips below to create the best presentation in 2021.


1.    Research still matters – and always will

Trends and tricks might change, but one thing will remain the same when it comes to presentations – they need research. According to SalesForce, over 51% of consumers need their companies to personalize the services and products based on their needs.

How do you learn about your audience’s needs?

You do so by performing research. Before you start working on a presentation, you need to think about your demographics, their problems, needs, and goals. When you know what they need and want to achieve, you’ll be able to figure out ways to share the information with them.


2.    Make sure they have your written proposal

Business presentations are done with a purpose. When you’re done with it, you’ll expect people to get back to their offices and meetings and discuss or think about what you proposed or said. Providing a copy of your written proposal on the same day as your presentation gives your audience a tangible document, something to refer to when they are making a decision or discussing your presentation.

According to Inc., 70% of sales reps will come to a presentation ill-prepared. This won't just give them a tangible file to look at, but it will also show them that you mean business. 



3.    Make it compliant

Rules and laws change daily. Depending on what your company's services and actions are, you need to keep track of the latest changes that concern you and your employees. Making a mistake in your presentation just because you failed to consider the latest changes will make you look like less of a professional.

Take, for example, the newest changes in the CCPA.

Have you heard of the CCPA (Customer Consumer Privacy Act)’s latest changes? In 2020, California voted on a very significant update i.e. the California Privacy Rights Act. So, if you’re doing business with a California company or are based in it, you need to understand the new rules for protecting consumer personal information.


4.    Make an audience journey map

Structuring a business presentation is harder than you might think. Just like an outline helps the writing process, a journey map helps the structuring of a business presentation.

Thankfully, the web is filled with templates that you can use to speed up this process. A journey map is a very useful way to deliver a professional presentation with a short timeframe.


5.     Provide social proof

People today rely greatly on word of mouth. Big Commerce has reported that 72% of customers trust a business more when they are shown social proof in the form of testimonials from satisfied customers.

It also does great with ‘FOMO.’ This refers to ‘’the fear of missing out.’’ People want to be kept in the loop. If they hear about an idea that others rave about, they want to join them. Since you’re building a presentation to impress potential investors, senior members of the team, or other decision-makers, social proof can be just what you need to convince them to take action.


6.     Provide solutions, not details

Business people will want to know what exactly you are offering, so they might expect some specifications. But, focusing solely on how you made your products, where your idea came from, and basically bombarding them with the nitty-gritty about your product's features does not make for an interesting presentation. Your biggest focus when making a presentation, even if it is for business, is on the benefits your audience will get.


7.     Use images, but in moderation

A couple of years ago, images were all the hype in presentation-making. We’d frequently hear about how effective these are and how important it is to add a visual element to a presentation.

This is not inaccurate but along the way, presenters started relying a lot on imaging. Many of them tried so hard they had to include clichéd images or visuals of poor quality.

Statistics show that images are very successful in presentations, but only if they are used in moderation. The audience remembers 65% of the information presented with an image, but this number can drop fast if the image is not relevant, of high quality, or if the presentation is filled with them.

When you use images, make sure that you need them. Only the essential, high-quality images belong in a professional business presentation.



8.     Consider using videos

Videos are an excellent idea when you're creating a business presentation, especially if you want to give the audience a walkthrough of your idea or product's features. Injecting videos in a business presentation will give it a bit of visualization, help you simplify things, and make information more appealing to your audience.


9.     Inject a story

Recent research shows that the human brain is trained to process information shared in the form of a story. It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how effective stories are when used to describe something to children. Stories were used centuries ago to explain natural phenomena like the seasons of rain. Jump to today and you get a trend that completely relies on the same belief – that stories are an amazing way to impress an audience.

According to WomensLeadership, stories in a presentation make it 22 times more memorable for the audience.


Final thoughts

Business presentations can change the entire course of your career or business. Even if you have to do this often, you need to keep track of the latest expectations and trends in your industry. These few steps will help you create better presentations in the months that follow. Use them, but don’t forget to apply the key parts of a good presentation – quality content and a lot of preparation. Good luck!



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