Five Presentation Mistakes to Avoid When Presenting Before a Client
Many of us have probably experienced dull, confusing, and uninspiring presentations. However, while there are many bad presentations you might recall, you may also remember one really good presentation that took your breath away–or at least didn’t leave you snoozing. Now, if or when it’s your turn to do a presentation, wouldn’t you want to take the best practices of good presentations and avoid the usual slideshow pitfalls? To help you get started, we’ll give you tips on the five presentation mistakes you need to avoid especially when you’re presenting to a client.
1. Avoid Cluttered and Confusing Presentations
Slideshows that are not easy on the eyes due to an overload of images, text with various font styles and colors, as well as animations, can just be too much. The key to a good presentation, after all, is to be clear slide after slide. Therefore, while it can be tempting to pack everything in a single slide, restraint is a better option. Keep your slides elegant, concise, and straightforward. While images, design elements, and animations are nice, use them sparingly and only when it’s important in driving a point home in a way that a few lines of text can’t.
2. Simplicity is Key in Presentations
The simpler your slides are, the clearer your message will be. Again, you don’t have to put every design element in each slide. Every element in a slide must have a purpose, and this purpose is to deliver your message to your audience as quickly and clearly as you can.
Stick to clear backgrounds that go well against your text. Make sure that your words are readable even from afar and that the background doesn’t clash with it. It’s better to play around with contrasting, light and dark colors in this case. Furthermore, you don’t have to put animations or other effects on every slide. Make sure to use them sparingly in order to drive your point home.
3. Check Files and Equipment Before You Present
This is one of the basics of presentations. You have to be prepared, not only mentally and physically, but also technically. Check that you have your latest presentation file, the final copy for your presentation.
Furthermore, you also have to check your equipment and audio. When it’s about presenting to a client that could make or break your career or business, it’s best to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Avoid glitches or anything that may distract you or your client in the middle of the presentation. These distractions may also put a damper on your confidence. Therefore, check your equipment to ensure that everything is good to go.
4. Don’t Beat Around the Bush
The most effective and successful client presentations are those that convince with very few words as much as possible. After all, no one wants to sit through hours of fluff, especially your clients who may have other things to do. Respect their time and yours by creating a well-made presentation that gets the job done.
This said, you have to be brief yet articulate. Additionally, if you can narrow down your slides from 24 to 12, much better. And instead of long blocks of text, try to opt for images and diagrams to visualize your information.
5. Make Sure You’re Clearly and Correctly Understood
After all, what’s the point of a presentation if you don’t deliver your message across? If you fail to convince, persuade, or inform your clients, then you have defeated the purpose of your slideshow. Leave no room for confusion or misunderstanding in your presentation. First, make sure that all the information is correct. Make sure that your message in each slide is clear and will not be misinterpreted as to mean something else.
When presenting before a client, you need to be sure that everything is ready to go, easy enough to understand and that you have clarity in explaining everything. A half baked idea will not get you very far. It is essential to know everything there is to know about your topic and be prepared for any counter arguments.