Giving a PresentationHave you ever had to give a presentation at a business event? Did you wonder how to give a business presentation, or what on earth you should do to make it work? 

Perhaps you worry that you’ll be a bunch of nerves, or you just don’t know what to say?

The other day I was listening to a friend give a presentation at a networking event; he did really well, it was his first time. He struggled and afterwards asked me about how he could have improved it. This is the feedback he asked for, it will also help you answer the question “how to give a business presentation and make it work“. A few days later, he did business presentation at another event, it was brilliant and he gained a new client as a result.

After the presentation, one of the others in the room privately said to me, “He had should have done…..”  but see my thoughts on unsolicited v soliciting feedback rather than me air their comments.

What’s the objective of your presentation?

Be clear on:

  • why you’re doing the presentation
  • what it is you want your audience to do afterwards

The objective of your presentation must be very clear in your mind, and simple to state. Later you must check your presentation will deliver it.

Before you even start to plan the presentation, check it’s a reasonable objective, meeting the requirements of audience and organiser. If there’s a mismatch, you’ll be on a hiding to nothing.


Keep it simple stupid”. Keep the structure and what you discuss simple, it will help you present and help them understand.

Don’t try to include loads of jokes (read what happened when I had problems presenting because of jokes), do try to include a real life story or two (if they support your points). A simple beginning, a middle with 2-3 key points and an end are all that is needed.

You will find our free guide “Improving your presentation skills” really useful, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

Pose a question

Engage the audience, encourage discussion and questions, by posing a question. Ask one question at the beginning and maybe another towards the end. Simply asking will help the audience focus.

Use sub-headings in your presentation

Yes, just like on a page of text! A verbal sub-heading will show your audience where you are; get them back on track with you and will also help you.

Rather than reading a long script (never try to memorise the script, it’s on of the 3 top lies), remember a few sub-headings; then you can move onto the next one at appropriate times. This will also help you keep control of time.

How much detail should I go into in my presentation?

This depends on the time available and most importantly what the audience wants. Consider what they already know, want to find out and your objective. Deliver the minimum amount of information that will do that. Generally people try to deliver far too much in their “10 minutes” and as a result don’t get the results they wanted. Treat it like a great appetiser; make them hungry and wanting the main course.

What about using Microsoft PowerPoint?

You many have a great need to do so (perhaps it’s a highly technical presentation), but generally for the kind of 10 minute business presentation that you’re likely to be giving – don’t use Microsoft Powerpoint (or any other such presentation software). It will be another thing that could go wrong, and it will add pressure to you as the presenter. If you must, then consider reading “how to give business PowerPoint presentations” or download our free guide “Improving your presentation skills”, it's free and waiting for you to download right nowClick here for instant access (email address required).

Finish your presentation with a summary

Do summarise the main 2-3 point you made and then if there’s an action you want them to take you might want to tell them what to do.

What are your favourite presentation skills tips? Or perhaps you’ve seen a mistake often made in the networking “10 minute slots” that many business owners make?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access

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