How to Give an Effective Business Presentation

Knowing how to give an effective business presentation is a skill that can make you a more valuable asset to your company. These presentations may be used as means for pitching sales to a customer, to convince investors to provide capital, or even to acquire partners. Whether you’re presenting to venture capitalists, senior management, or potential customers, you want to make a great first impression and stand out from other speakers. Here we will take a look at some helpful tips for delivering a powerful business presentation. 

1. Establish Credibility Up Front

Any time you are presenting to an audience, and especially with business presentations, you want to establish credibility up front. Your audience is more likely to listen to you if they find you a credible source. This does not mean you need to begin rattling off all of your career highlights. Rather, share a short story or experience about your background that is relevant to your topic. 

2. Know Your Audience

Understanding who you will be presenting to is critical in creating a presentation that is relevant. For example, you would use a different presentation style to present to senior executives than you would for a presentation for your coworkers. Consider the audience’s knowledge of the topic and what they hope to gain from the presentation so you can tailor the information to fit their specific needs. 

3. Know Your Material

Before you can convince anyone else, you need to be completely knowledgeable, prepared, and sold on the idea or product yourself. It’s important to have a clear goal and know the points you want to make inside and out. You will probably be using visual aids to supplement your material, but remember that these visuals should not be the sum of your expertise. They are simply meant to supplement what you are saying. Your knowledge of the materials should extend far beyond the PowerPoint slides. 

4. Command the Floor

Part of giving an effective presentation is commanding the floor and speaking with confidence. Involve the audience by asking questions, make eye contact, walk around the room, smile, and be mindful of your body language. A speaker who has a strong stage presence will undoubtedly give a more compelling presentation. 

5. Use Visuals Appropriately

A slideshow can be a great way to guide your audience and enhance your presentation, but if not done well, they can actually detract from your presentation. Here are some helpful tips for effective slides: 

  • Limit the number of slides (usually no more than 20)
  • Place titles and important information at the top of the slide
  • Use images, charts, or graphs wherever possible instead of text
  • Delete unnecessary words and keep text to a minimum 
  • Keep your slides uniform and avoid distracting transitions
  • Choose a font that can easily be read from the back of the room
  • Avoid cheesy clip-art and animations that may appear unprofessional

6. Engage the Audience

An effective way to give a memorable presentation is to engage the audience. Keep them interested by asking thought-provoking questions that will get them thinking. Tell relevant stories, share shocking facts or statistics, and even infuse humor when possible. Just be sure the material chosen is relevant to the topic. 

7. Be Prepared for Questions

Many presenters offer the opportunity to answer questions at the end of the presentation. Don’t forget to prepare for this part of the presentation. Consider any questions the audience might have beforehand and think about how you will answer them. You should also prepare a few questions of your own just in case the audience doesn’t ask any. This is a great way to break the ice and get everyone talking.


If you are interested in learning more, contact us today at 1-800-501-1245 to request information about training courses from the Management Training Institute as well as other corporate training programs offered through our parent company Bold New Directions.