Recently, I’ve been listening to different business presentations, be it one-to-one or from the podium.

The range of innovative ideas and expertise is impressive, but often, I find myself losing interest or drifting after the first minutes of listening to them, and sometimes as I look around the room, I can see they’ve lost the audience’s attention also.

Speaking in public is not for everyone. But one thing that can reduce your anxiety and nerves is practice.

I’m no expert in this area, but here are a few suggestions you may find helpful when next asked to deliver a 5 mins presentation.

✳️ Everyone loves a story. Open with a story about the origins of your business idea and why you started. Make it interesting and relevant, tying it back to your main point.

✳️ If you make a daring statement- back it up. A presenter spoke about interactive customer experience systems, saying, ‘chatbots are broken’, and here’s why.

✳️ If you’re going to mention or compare your service to a competitor, explain why you’re different and better. A presenter spoke about why his eSignature business is better than DocuSign, which kept my attention.

✳️ Refrain from offering to discount your prices during a presentation or Q&A, which shows desperation

✳️ If before the event you know the kind of buyers in the room, do some research ahead and direct your talk about their problems and how your service can help – this will keep their attention.

✳️ Provide examples of clients you’ve worked with, clearly explaining the problem you solved, what you did and the value of your solution.

✳️ When asked questions, clarify the question before answering. Look directly at the person who asked the question and respond confidently.

✳️ Ensure your audience is clear about the value of your service by the end of your presentation, as if there are several presentations, it’s easy to forget you – be memorable.

✳️ A call to action at the end can pique the listener’s interest – a customer experience expert could offer tips on why chatbots are broken. A technologist can advise on the pros and cons of eSignatures. Ai consultants on adaptive technologies that could help your business.

✳️ If you struggle with delivering presentations, get some help, start with your local toastmasters, the PSA or engaging a speaking coach.

✳️ Learn to project your voice and take your time