What really matters in your business presentation

The company presentation is an essential part of your external image. It must contain all the important information and messages that management or sales leadership needs to be successful in an initial meeting with potential customers. It should convey facts about the expertise and performance of your company and portfolio. And it should build trust in a future collaboration. The company presentation should therefore authentically reflect your company. What do you stand for and what really makes your company stand out?

There is no second chance for a first impression. You’ve read this statement a few times on our blog. But it is simply true. An important new customer will, of course, find out about you on the Internet beforehand and make an initial decision as to whether they want to get to know you at all. But at the first face-to-face meeting, the presentation becomes the decisive sales tool. When you create a business presentation, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your business partner. What does he want to learn, what is important for him? The other question is, what do you want to tell about the company, its products and employees that will put you in a good light?

The creation of your corporate presentation – as individual as your company

Depending on the company, industry or company mission statement, the result is a very individual design of your presentation. How do you want to be perceived? What needs to be mentioned? What is your corporate identity? If you want to convey a traditional, conservative understanding of values, then your company presentation must reflect these values in terms of slide design (colors, page layout, storytelling, etc.). If you want to appear as an innovative start-up company, for example, your appearance must be appropriately modern and innovative. Therefore, a standard presentation template that can be used for all company presentations unfortunately does not exist. If you want to be truly professional about it, you need to fine-tune your business presentation for each new client. You should be able to present a tailor-made company presentation that is optimally adapted to the wishes, goals and needs of your customer. To do this, you must try to find out as much as possible about your future business partner in advance.

Why good preliminary research is enormously important for your company presentation

With a thorough analysis of your customer, you gather important information that you can use to score points during your presentation. Try to find out as much as you can about the current situation of the company you would like to do business with in the future. Your customer is looking for a business partner that will provide them with the greatest possible value. To properly highlight the customer’s benefits in the presentation, you need to know what they need and what benefits you can offer them. Try to find out what your customer’s wishes, goals and concerns are. What can you find in the annual report, what is on the Internet, how does the press report on the company? Were there any bottlenecks, difficulties, losses that could affect management decisions? Or is a strong partner needed for expansion? For your company presentation, you should know what your future business partner is looking for and clearly elaborate the concrete advantages of working with you.

Create a list of questions for your company presentation

Once you’ve screened your prospective business partner, create a list of questions that should be addressed before creating your first slide. A few examples:

  • What are the customer’s goals?
  • What does he want from you?
  • What information about your company does he already have?
  • What other information about your company does he need?
  • What can you offer him concretely (customer benefit)?
  • Why are you the best provider in your field (USP)?
  • Why is it beneficial to work with your company?
  • What can you do better than your competitors?
  • What are the key messages you want to convey?
  • What is your specific offer?

Once you have collected the answers to these questions, you can start creating your PowerPoint presentation. In the second part we will deal with the concrete design of a good company presentation.

Ihre Zielgruppe hat wenig Zeit. Halten Sie Ihre Unternehmenspräsentation möglichst kurz.

When you present your company, you will be presenting to general managers, department heads or other decision makers. This target group usually has a tight schedule and thus little time. If you drag out your presentation, you probably won’t make yourself very popular. The company presentation will usually be followed by further interviews. Therefore, present for a maximum of 15-20 minutes. Think carefully about what you want to show on your PowerPoint slides. If you want to show each slide for two minutes, this will give you about eight to ten slides.

Ask your customer at the beginning what he is particularly interested in

Before you start your presentation, ask your future business partners what they are most interested in. What is already known about your company, where are there perhaps ambiguities? Questions may also arise after the company presentation. You should prepare additional slides for this purpose, showing them only when needed.

Tell your audience what to expect at the beginning of your presentation

Right at the beginning of your company presentation, give your audience a brief overview of what to expect in the next 15-20 minutes. Generate interest in your presentation by promising that the audience will learn all about topic “XY”. You can also pose a provocative thesis and promise that you will prove the thesis during your presentation (if it fits the content of your paper, of course). Promise interesting insights and new knowledge. In short, create excitement and attention for your presentation.

Your company presentation needs a common thread

There is no successful novel or film that can do without a plot thread. This also applies to your company presentation. Without a common thread, your audience will have difficulty following you. If you just randomly “”stuff”” information into your presentation, you will only create confusion. Before you start your slides, you need to be clear about how you want to structure your presentation. What is to be conveyed? What is the story you want to tell about your business? What do you want to start with, what are the highlights, and what messages do you want to end your presentation with? The more clearly you define your presentation objectives and messages, the easier it will be for you to develop a clear and logical narrative structure for your audience.

Build a cliffhanger into your company presentation

What do many television series or feature film series like Star Wars have to do with your presentation? Individual episodes often end with a gripping scene that is meant to make the viewer curious about the sequel. How will the story continue? This stylistic element is called a cliffhanger because the viewer is kept in a kind of limbo of curiosity. You can also take advantage of this technique for your presentation. In addition to convincing facts, creating emotions is an effective way to capture the audience’s attention. So build a cliffhanger into your next company presentation and keep your audience in suspense.

There are several types of cliffhangers you can use for your business presentation. One variation is the problem-solution cliffhanger. Start with a problem description that is related to your topic. Ideally, it’s a problem that your audience is also familiar with from their own experience. Then promise that today you will present a solution to the described problem right away. But it’s even easier: you can also use pauses in speech as mini-cliffhangers. You can use small artificial pauses to add to the tension during the presentation. You can use this technique to emphasize the importance of a statement and build a little suspense. For example, “In the past quarter, we were able to significantly increase our sales once again…..and in fact…by an incredible…..46 percent.”

If you send the company presentation afterwards – pay attention to the size

It happens more often that at the end of a good PowerPoint presentation people ask for a copy of the slide set. Therefore, pay attention to the file size of your slide set before sending it. If you find a PDF with 40 MB in your mailbox, you will not be very enthusiastic about it. When shipping the slides, make sure they are a manageable size. The file size should not exceed two to three MB if possible.

Interactive company presentations meet the needs of the audience

In the past, it was common for the speaker to click through the slides chronologically from the first slide to the last. This was pleasant for the speaker, because his presentation ran like on rails from start to finish without any sudden rescheduling. If, on the other hand, you hyperlink your company presentation, you can move very elegantly through your slide set without having to search awkwardly for individual passages. You can respond to questions and quickly navigate to the appropriate slide, or quickly skip passages if the audience lacks time or interest. To do this, you can use the overview slide to hyperlink to your individual company presentation topics. This allows you to jump quite elegantly to a specific area of your slide set if a particular aspect needs to be addressed again, or a topic area is particularly important to your auditorium. This way, your customer can have a say in what they want to see. And you can maneuver very elegantly through your corporate presentation.

No text deserts – make your company presentation as attractive as possible

When you create your company presentation, you need to make sure that not only hard facts are conveyed. A managing director or manager wants to have the key figures that are important for him communicated in a straightforward manner. But your future business partner is also just a human being and therefore also wants to be addressed emotionally. He wants to be impressed, ideally even inspired. Therefore, think about what you could score with. If you make high-tech products, you could show a well-done short corporate video or animation featuring your top seller. Or impressions of your high-quality production facilities. Don’t forget about storytelling. What is the interesting story behind your company? What might positively impact your customer?

Say goodbye to “supervised reading,” where the speaker more or less reads aloud what is on the slides. You won’t impress your customer with text alone. Design your PowerPoint slides with images or graphics. Texts should be limited to keywords or concise sentences per slide. The composition of slide design, structure, content, story and very good presentation are the important ingredients for a successful corporate presentation. Again, the advice is to rather involve a good presentation agency in advance than go to a potential client with a second-rate set of slides.

Repetition facilitates the storage of information

There are events that are immediately burned into your memory because they are associated with strong emotions. The first kiss, the first ride in your own car, the death of a loved one – certain situations remain vivid memories for decades. Other things you quickly forget again, although they would actually be interesting for you. I have also experienced this many times. I come across an exciting piece of information and say to myself: Man, you really have to remember this information. And a few hours later, I can only recall fragments of it. Your audience will feel no different at your next company presentation. Of course, it would be nice if every single slide and every one of your sentences remained forever in the memory of your audience. But let’s be realistic: your audience will only remember the info that is most important to them. Our opportunity is to show you what’s important and help them capture that information as conveniently as possible.

Consider how the brain works in your business presentation

Our senses process an incredible amount of information every second. If we were to store this amount in memory, we would probably not be able to handle the flood of information. Therefore, the brain filters out most of the information again without anchoring it in long-term memory. Everything that the brain considers unimportant is deleted either immediately or after a few seconds. But when information appears more than once, our brain assigns greater importance to this repeated message. If something appears more than once, it may have greater importance. Repetition is much more likely to get into long-term memory, so you need to skillfully incorporate important info into your presentation so that it comes up several times without being annoying. Also keep in mind that our brain thinks in pictures. If you imagine a piece of information into an image, our brain can process this better. For example, if you want to explain that a certain amount of water is passed through your production cycle per hour, put this number into a picture that is easier to remember. For example, say “the equivalent of about 5,000 full bathtubs.” Then a picture is created that is better retained.

Prepare your company presentation in a brain-friendly way.

Think carefully about which facts are essential to store in the audience’s memory. Make a list and really focus on the very most important messages. You will usually be able to fit 3-5 key messages into your presentation. In the second step, you anchor these messages at important points in the company presentation. For example, you can mention the topics for the first time during the introduction. The final part definitely includes a small summary for the audience, who should also receive the key messages. Consider finding a “catchy” image to vividly explain each piece of information. Like earlier with our bathtub example. Of course, you must not overdo the repetitions either. If you talk at your audience like a lame horse and repeat information x times, it will quickly become boring.

Was möchten Sie unbedingt in Ihrer Unternehmenspräsentation mitteilen? Was muss ein Kunde, ein Lieferant ein Bürger über Ihr Unternehmen und Ihre Leistungen auf jeden Fall wissen? Was ist sozusagen der „Hit“ Ihrer Firma? Je klarer Sie diese Fragen beantworten, bevor Sie die erste Folie erstellt haben, desto besser können Sie Wiederholungen gezielt für Ihre Ziele einfügen und vielleicht den einen oder anderen „Ohrwurm“ in Ihr Publikum einpflanzen.

Our advice: if you don’t have really experienced presentation experts in your company, you should use a good service provider to create your company presentation. Excellent PowerPoint slides already require a tremendous amount of expertise. And especially when initiating contact with important new customers, you should not take any risks in the form of a faulty or boring presentation.

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Referent und PowerPoint Trainer Matthias Garten

Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten as the expert for multimedia presentations and professional PowerPoint presentations knows about the art of professional slide design. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 10,000 professional PowerPoint presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.