Editor’s note: Upekha Makumbura is the digital marketing executive of London School of Marketing. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared here under the title, “Mastering the art of presentations as a marketer.
As Marshall McLuhan famously said, the medium is the message. What you say is fundamentally affected by how you say it – and marketers know more than anyone that this is true. Strong presentation skills are crucial for transmitting the points you want to get across, especially when you intend to inform, persuade or motivate your audience. These skills take practice to master but once you have them they will set you in good stead for all your marketing communications.
Have you ever switched off while someone else was making a presentation? It’s not enough that your audience is trapped in a room with you: you have to give them a reason to listen. Marketers often make presentations that are specifically intended to share information, for example when marketing managers review past progress with their team, or address other areas of their company. When you make a presentation of this sort you need to make sure that your audience is gaining information that they value and understand why you are making your points.
Look for facts to support your key points, fill in background research to back up any conclusions you draw and consider what your audience is mostly likely to be interested in. However, don’t overwhelm them with reams of unintelligible data or overcomplicated explanations. There is only so much that can be absorbed in one sitting, so make sure you select and emphasize the most important points. The golden rule is that less is more, especially when it comes to slides. It can be useful in some contexts to provide links to further reading so that if audience members are interested in pursuing a specific point, they will know where to look.