Being an entrepreneur is not just about being your own boss; it’s about believing in your product or service to the extent that you are able to convince buyers you have the right solution for them. In other words, you must be able to present valuable information and persuade your audience that buying from you “just makes sense.”
Beyond convincing customers to make a purchase, business leaders also have to be able to lead their employees if they want to retain them and leverage their skills and expertise.
For these two reasons it’s incredibly important that every entrepreneur develop the best presentation skills they possibly can.
Think about all of those daily moments at work where presentation skills are essential: there may be an important discussion with a colleague or a key vendor, a quick lunch meeting with another potential investor, or a review with a new employee. In all of these scenarios business leaders have got to be able to clearly communicate their ideas, passion, and vision.
So how can entrepreneurs become the strongest presenters they can possibly be? By developing 5 very essential presentation skills:
When people are passionate about something, it is very easy for them to get other people excited. We’ve all seen those presenters who, the minute they walk on stage, cause the entire audience to sit up straight and lean forward in their chairs. They come with energy and passion and that makes everyone instantly pay attention.
Passionate entrepreneurs really don’t have to do much to convince anyone to buy into their company and vision. Whether it’s getting an investor to hand over a check for $25,000 or getting a prospective team member to buy into the organization’s culture, passionate leaders have no problem building excitement in others and motivating people to take action.
Know Your Audience
Powerful presenters have got to know the people sitting in those seats – what makes them tick, what are their fears and questions – if they’re going to have any real chance of reaching the audience with their message.
Politicians are presenters who have to know their audience extremely well if they don’t want to get booed off the stage, as happened here with Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
Business leaders know this same concept applies to advertising their company. In fact, one of the first rules of advertising is to know your target audience/demographic. If you don’t know what your market wants or needs, how are you going to give them anything of value?
But entrepreneurs should also get to know their team members extremely well. The more you know about someone’s behaviors and habits, what motivates them and shuts them down, and how they prefer to communicate, the more you’ll be able to effectively lead them and grow your organization.
Have Something Important to Say
Most of us have had those bosses who found it perfectly acceptable to come to our cubicle and drone on and one about something that had zero importance in the grand scheme of daily operations of the company, like this guy.
After a while, it became a habit to tune this person out as soon as we saw them. Getting into the habit of tuning out your boss is a sign you’re not working under the right leader.
Just as no presenter in their right mind would get up on stage and go on and on about absolutely nothing of any importance, no entrepreneur in their right mind would take up an employee’s time with information that wasn’t relevant to their task at hand. Doing so sends a message that an employee’s time is not respected. This will inevitably breed resentment and cause valuable human assets to jump your ship and swim for more respectful shores.
Look the Part
It’s important that entrepreneurs dress the part so they can be taken seriously. While it may be okay for a 23-year-old app developer to wear jeans and flip-flops around the hip office, that same developer had better throw on a proper suit when meeting with potential investors.
Steve Jobs might have been able to lead a company in worn jeans and a plain black turtleneck, but by the time this became his signature attire he had already established himself as one of the most powerful and prolific entrepreneurs of the 20th and 21st centuries.
For everyone else, it’s incredibly important to look the part of a leader in your chosen industry and present yourself as someone to be taken seriously.
If you look up “death wish” in the dictionary it will most likely say: noun; what one has after not preparing for a presentation.
Anyone who’s ever had to give a speech in front of an audience will tell you that planning what you are going to say ahead of time is incredibly important. When the President of the United States gets on the national airwaves to announce a major development of some kind, he doesn’t just ‘wing it’, he has a staff plan ahead of time exactly what he should say and then that plan gets written down so it can be easily read by the POTUS.
This applies to entrepreneurs as well. Before you meet with that potential partner, investor, or employee, you should not only KNOW who they are as much as you can, but then determine what information is critical to share with them and how best to do it.
The more presentation skills an entrepreneur has, the more likely he/she will be able to effectively lead, persuade others to share his/her vision, and succeed in any kind of market.