As a startup, making presentations is among your important tasks. Presentations play a crucial role in telling your story. With a well-prepared presentation, you can target any stakeholder including investors, prospect customers, potential partners etc. You can use presentations for different purposes including providing information about a specific situation, introducing a product or service, persuading your targets, explaining a business plan or strategy and making a sales pitch.
While preparing a presentation, you need to answer the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve, what is my goal?
- Who am I targeting?
- What will be the context of my presentation?
- What will be the content?
- How will my presentation look like?
The goal of your presentation defines the result that you would like to reach. Before starting to work on the content and design of your presentation, you need to set your goal. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve with this presentation? Answers may vary: to provide information, to convince, to sell and so on. Your answer will determine the rest of your presentation.
The more you understand your target audience, the better you answer their needs in your presentations. While defining your audience try to answer the following questions:
- Who is my audience?
- How much do they know about my presentation topic?
- What do they expect from my presentation?
- What kind of presentation style they are got used to?
- Why are they reading/ listening to my presentation?
The context of your presentation determines how your message will be understood by your audience. For example, will it be an oral or written presentation? If you are going to speak at an event, you will have an oral presentation. So the presentation you will prepare may include less text and more images since you can explain your slides by speaking. But if it will be a written presentation that will be published on an online medium like Slideshare, or will be sent to a customer; then you will need more text since you will not be able to explain your slides by speaking.
The content of your presentation defines what you are going to say. While creating your presentation content; you can follow the steps below by answering the related questions:
- Determine your key message. What should your audience remember at the end of the presentation?
- You need to develop your ideas around your key message. While developing these ideas, consider if;
- your key message is your most critical message,
- your ideas are clear and concise for your target audience,
- your messages are convincing enough to persuade your audience,
- any of your ideas needs improvement.
- Support your key message with statistics and emotional proofs. Why should your audience care about your message?
- Try to make a benefit for your audience. How can you frame each point with a clear benefit that concerns your audience?
Visual design has a major impact on the success of your presentation. A good design can help you close a deal, win new clients, or simply influence and convince your audience effectively.
Take into account the following details while designing your presentation:
- Support your content with graphic evidence including photos, images, tables and charts.
- Do not use too many bullets on a slide.
- Use each slide to express one idea, do not include more than 5 lines of text.
- Instead of using cluttered slide themes included in your software, start with a clean and plain background.
- Maintain a strong contrast between text and background.
- Use readable fonts with appropriate sizes. For example, sans serif fonts can be easier to read.
- Do not use too many colors at once, instead, use close colors from a palette in a way that provides consistency.
- Instead of using too many images on one slide, use a single image.
Include high quality images. You can use free stock photos if you cannot afford paid photos.
Creating effective presentations, requires not only know-how but also hard work. Although getting professional services can be an option, startups generally adopt a do-it-yourself approach due to limited budgets. Thanks to free training resources and design tools on the Internet, startups can create useful presentations at no cost. The tips above can also guide them through the preparation process.