If you are presenting to a financier, you need to stand out from the crowd. As a business consulting firm in South Africa, we have seen many people with great ideas get overlooked because their presentation skills weren’t good. The ability to speak clearly in front of people who hold your fate in their hands can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.
It is also important to know that the responsibility isn’t always in your hands. You cannot control whether or not the financier had a bad day, argued with his daughter, or got a flat tire on the way to work. Still, once they are inside the room with you, you can control their emotions and how they understand your presentation.
Before presenting to a financier, remember these five tips:
Establish Credibility Immediately
Your audience is more likely to listen to what you have to say if you tell them why they should listen. Do not launch into a lengthy introduction, but tell your financiers why they should listen to you. This could mean you list your credentials, talk about what you’ve done, or even mention that you have sought out business consulting. The idea is to impress the audience from the minute you step up to talk.
Don’t Just Make A PowerPoint
So many people think just making a slideshow with information is enough – it isn’t. We’ve all seen slide after slide filled with information. This type of brain dump bores an audience. The purpose of your finance presentation should be to provide quantitative information to a person or group of people – enough information that they can make an informed decision.
In business consulting, we encourage our clients to be effective and concise in their presentations. Most often, the financiers understand the basics of what you are saying, so don’t break down every small detail. Curtail your actual slides to just the numbers you want them to see and then explain while you are making your presentation.
Tell A Story
You do not have to write a work of fiction to present your business plan, but you should try to connect with your audience. When we sit down with entrepreneurs for business consulting, we ask them about their stories. This helps us to understand where they come from and, sometimes, where they will go.
You want to take your audience on a journey and help them to picture what your success will look like. Get financiers emotionally invested and you will convince them to invest in you.
Remember Business Consulting Conversations
If you work with a business consultant, you may notice that they do not do all of the talking. This is because, at least in our case, we like to model good presentation skills. When talking to a financier, remember that this is a two-way street. Do not launch into a droning monologue. Instead, call for audience involvement and keep them engaged as often as possible.
This conversation should help you to understand your audience’s motivations and you can then speak directly to their questions and priorities. Ask audience members for feedback and discussion items throughout the presentation, not just at the end. Not only will this ensure they get the full picture instead of just thinking about their questions, but it will also help to keep them attentive.
Sometimes, the best way to entice a financier or financiers is to startle them with a fact, image, or outburst. You want to stay professional, of course, but you also want to get their attention. By surprising them, you will keep them awake and engaged. If possible, surprise them with something that will drive home your point.
If you cannot find a fact or statistic that fits with your point, you can use something that is just mildly connected. Do not spend a lot of time on this, but keep it in your back pocket if you see eyelids start to get heavy.
Business Consulting in South Africa – Need Help?
Are you getting ready to present to a financier? Stay cool, calm, and collected when it comes to your presentation. Practice it, anticipate questions, and make sure that you are comfortable with your material. You do not want to go into the room like a robot or an actor, but you do want to be prepared.
One of the best ways to prepare for financial presentations is to work with a business consultant who can help you to plan and practice. At ICQ, we have years of experience working with businesses and entrepreneurs as business consultants. If you are ready to get started, give us a call today.