How to Write A Great Business Presentation – 12 steps

If you need to prepare a business presentation, you want it to be a success.  Most people write their business presentations in the wrong way.  We’ve been supporting businesses to transform how they write and deliver their presentations and this is what you should do.

This summarises many of the things that our tailored presentation training courses cover when we work with our clients to develop confident and effective presentations. You will save yourself a huge amount of time by using this simple 12 step process.

How to prepare business presentations – 12 steps

  1. Don’t open PowerPoint

  2. Define your audience

  3. Have a single message

  4. Segment your presentation

  5. Start strong

  6. Use stories and examples

  7. Finish strong

  8. Use clear language

  9. Use pauses

  10. Plan for questions

  11. Decide on visual aids

  12. Practise

1. Do NOT open PowerPoint to prepare business presentations

While PowerPoint is good for many things, it’s terrible for planning business presentations.  You should only start using PowerPoint at the very end of the presentation planning process.  Remember, a good presentation does not involve narrating slides. Instead, think of a presentation as a talk that may or may not involve visual aids.

Restrain yourself.  We know you will be tempted to create slides.  But this is the biggest presenting mistake that people make. Instead, start on step 2 of the presentation preparing process and come back to PowerPoint only after you’ve planned everything else.

2. Be clear on who your audience is and what you want to achieve.

To prepare properly, you need to know your audience.  For example, you might be addressing just 10 people in an audience of 1000

Or you might want everyone in the room to change their behaviour slightly. The more tightly you define your objective, the greater your chance of success. When you present to the board, you need to confider what is important to them.

The better you understand your audience, their fears, concerns and desires, the more focused you will be. 

More about business presentation training courses

3. Have a single message that summarises your business presentation

Distil what you want to say into a single sentence. This phrase should encapsulates your presentation. Avoid vague statements like “I want to tell them about our new product” The sharper your message, the better.

Imagine someone in your audience being asked after your presentation, ‘What was that presentation about?’  If you know exactly what they will answer, you have a brilliant presentation. Read more about the So What Test.

4. Break your business presentation into clear parts 

A three part structure is often the most effective. For each part of your presentation, have a clear message. You need a strong start to your presentation.  Then three key parts to your presentation.  Then finish with a powerful end. 

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5. Start your presentation with a high impact statement

Work out something that will make people sit up and listen. Tell them what you are going to tell them.  Get them excited.  Learn more here about how to start a presentation with impact.

6. Identify stories, anecdotes and examples

Learn how to use stories in your business presentations. Find ones to support your messages. The more you illustrate what you want to say with a real story, the more powerful your presentation becomes. The best stories are personal real life examples. Bring it to life with memorable phrases.

More about business presentation training

7. Finish your presentation with a clear message, request or call to action

What you say last will be remembered best.  Here are some tips about ending your presentation effectively.

8. Learn about using clear simple language in your business presentation

Cut out all jargon or corporate speak. Your presentation skills training should teach you some basic elements of rhetoric which will bring life to your presentations and make it easy for you to engage your audiences. Learn about Power Language and how to use it in your presentations.

9. Incorporate pauses, short sentences, great eye contact 

A presentation is a performance. If you look and sound good there is a better chance of success in your presentation. You will also look and sound more confident when you present.  Discover the Power of the pause in presentations.

10. Work out what questions you could be asked

When preparing important business presentations, you need to dedicate time to preparing answers to potential questions. Practice how you will answer questions using tried and tested question answering techniques.  

More about presentation training courses

11. Now, work out if you really need any visual aids or handouts

You may now decide that some charts, diagrams, pictures will help get your message across even more powerfully. If you do use these in your presentation, make sure your training course shows you best practice for preparing visual aids, slides and charts.

12. Practise, practise, practise

You will only get better by practising your important presentation. The best online presentation training courses will show you a method and process so that you continue to improve after your training. For example, you should learn to use use a critical knowledgeable audience and a camera to refine your performance and to set up a feedback loop.

The more you rehearse and perfect, the better you will get.

If you want to learn about the online presentation training courses we run, please  contact us today

Help me prepare better business presentations

About Benjamin Ball Associates for Writing Business Presentations

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.

Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to prepare powerful business presentations. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email to find out more and discuss your upcoming talk or presentation.

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