When making a business presentation, pitch or even communicating online with your customers using video, keeping your communication simple is essential if you want to get your message across. Nowadays we are bombarded with so many messages it is more important than ever to ensure your communication gets across successfully and has an impact in your business presentation, online presentation or marketing.
So how do you make sure you can do this? Here are some simple tips for keeping your communication simple that you can implement immediately in your next business presentation, sales pitch, bid presentation or business video…..
The most important thing is to not confuse simple with simplistic. You don’t want to patronise your audience. There is a different between being simplistic and keeping it simple. Keeping it simple essentially is about looking at it from an outside point of view, breaking your messages down and seeing how you can strip away unnecessary information, terminology and waffle that clouds your actual message.
To do this you need to:
1/ Make sure you understand your presentation content clearly and thoroughly. After all, if you don’t, you have no chance of convincing anyone else! This might sound obvious but on numerous occasions I have heard someone speak who has apologised at the beginning for being drafted in last minute, covering for someone or being unprepared and therefore not knowing much about what they are talking about! What a waste of time for everybody!
2/ Understand who you are talking to / targeting with your messages. Only when you put yourself in their shoes and consider what they want to hear will you then be able to simplify your message and therefore engage them.
3/ Create analogies, stories and relate messages to ideas your audience buys into and gets. We automatically understand and engage more with the familiar, so even if you are presenting new ideas, if you can relate it to something they are familiar with you will have a greater success rate.
4/ Cluster your messages and break them down. If you are creating online video don’t try and get across 3 messages in one 3-minute video. Create 3 x 1 minute videos instead. Better to make your point clearly and leave the audience wanting to know more than have them turn off half way through because its too long or confused by too many points.
In your business presentations, always consider what is the one thing you want people to go away with and ensure when you are creating this that you keep this at the front of your mind throughout. Yes, you can go off and make new points and paths, but always return to the main objective for them to take away. Then they are much more likely to retain it.
5/ Break your business presentation down into manageable parts. Almost think of it as a series of mini talks or sections. Then if one part goes wrong, gets forgotten or simple doesn’t feel like its working on the day you can simply jump to the next part or go back to it later.
6/ Say what you mean using as few words as possible. This is important both with your speaking and with any slides / visuals aids that you are using as part of your presentation. Strip your message back to bare bones and think what is the most succinct way to convey it. Pretend it is a tweet and you only have 154 characters; what would you say then? You can always lengthen it from there but it is a good exercise to help you to get succinct with your communication.
7/ Use language that is your own. If you try and replicate someone else’s style of language, sound more knowledgable by using lengthy words, technical terminology or corporate speak then you won’t be convincing anyone! Worst of all you will turn them off. You will convince them with the quality of your messages and delivery, not long words and clever phrases (‘blue sky thinking’ anyone?!!)
So hopefully there are some thoughts here that will immediately help you to improve your presentations and communication to customers, prospects, stakeholders and teams. If you need help developing our presentations, slides, video content or events communication please do contact us to see how our specialism in helping companies to create more impactful presentations can help you.