by Adam Noar
There are often times when you need to give a presentation to an audience whom you have never met before.
Perhaps it’s an important sales pitch to a potential client? Or maybe it’s to a group of investors that are looking to hear more about your next great business idea.
In these situations you need to establish credibility in order to let your audience know that you are the REAL DEAL.
In the business world you are considered a con artist until proven beyond the slightest doubt. Anyone can claim all kinds of things or say that their business is capable of doing all kinds of things. That’s why you have to prove to your audience that you can really deliver on your promises.
Of course you really do have to have a great product or service, but appearances do matter.
That’s why I’m introducing 10 presentation tips that will help make you APPEAR more credible when you’re giving a presentation to a new audience.
10 Presentation Tips To Gain More Credibility
1. Get a Professional Logo
A nice professional logo will give your presentation an extra boost of trustworthiness.
Great logo design doesn’t come cheap, but it’s the single biggest investment you can make in the trustworthiness of your brand.
Keep in mind your logo goes EVERYWHERE you go – from your PowerPoint presentations to your business card. So, hold your logo to a high standard of professionalism and people will view your business in higher regard.
Here are a few places I recommend to find a professional logo:
oDesk – A freelance community with plenty of freelance logo designers to choose from.
99 designs – A website that hosts a design contest among many different designers and then allows you to pick your favorite one. Receiving lots of different designs allows you to explore different ideas as opposed to the ideas of just one person.
Note: Once you do have a great looking logo for your presentation I usually recommend keeping it on the cover and thank you slides only. You don’t need to brand your company logo on EVERY single slide (which gets annoying after a while).
Nothing ruins credibility quicker than misspelled words and poor grammar.
Always read over your entire slide deck at least two times before giving your presentation. I personally find it’s especially helpful to read the text out loud when looking for errors.
Also, when you’re done, make sure to hand your presentation to someone else to look for any spelling and grammar errors. Sometimes it’s hard to notice them when you’ve been looking at the slides for a long period of time.
3. Show Yourself (In An Interesting Way)
When designing your presentation you can establish a lot of trust simply by providing an INTERESTING “about you” or “team overview” slide.
When you’re presenting your overview slide most people simply provide a bullet list of facts about your company.
Don’t go this route.
Instead make this slide INTERESTING.
Tell a visual story of what you and your business is about.
Make sure that this slide is short, crisp and relevant. This is not the time to share everyone’s LIFE story. Focus on a significant, relevant accomplishment for each person that identifies that person as a winner. In 10 to 15 seconds, you should be able to say three or four sentences about each team member that says everything the audience would want to know about him or her at that moment.
4. Show Your Trophy Rack
When presenting to a new audience, don’t be overly humble about any awards you’ve received or big clients that you have worked with.
Feature them prominently on a dedicated client slide (like the one seen below)
Also, if you have any remarkable testimonials include them on this slide.
Testimonials are key to building trust, especially if you’re selling a product or service. When you have a happy client, consider asking them to give you a testimonial.
If you have been in the business for a while, make sure you let you’re your audience know that.
5. Use The Color Blue
Have you ever noticed some of the biggest brands in the world have the color blue in their logo and branding?
Facebook, IBM, Twitter, Skype, Linked In, NFL, AT&T, and Citibank …. They all use blue.
According to color psychology, blue “creates the sensation of trust and security.”
But why is that?
When you think of the color blue you naturally think of the sky and ocean, which translates to cleanliness, depth, wisdom, and purity.
Along with this, blue is considered conservative, safe, predictable, and non-threatening. For these reasons blue is a universally liked color.
All of these characteristics indirectly translate into trust.
Therefore, you may want to consider using a blue color scheme for your presentation templates when you’re looking to build relationships or sell a product or service to an audience.
Note: When I say you should consider using the color blue, this doesn’t mean that your ENTIRE TEMPLATE has to be blue. Instead you can tastefully use the color throughout your slides.
6. Fully Research Your Subject
Doing your background research might not sound like the most fun thing to do in the world. However, it’s a necessary part of putting together effective presentations. You owe it to your audience to be well-informed about the subject that you are presenting.
Don’t pull a “Michael Bay” and try to “wing” your presentation. We all know how that went down.
When your readers notice the many references and facts that are the mark of a well-researched presentation, they’ll know that what you’re saying can be backed up.
And, when you can back up what you’re saying, your credibility increases.
7. Redesign Your Outdated Presentation
People still judge books by their cover, and the same thing goes for presentations.
Your audience will judge your company based on your presentation design. A quality design means a quality business that they can trust.
It’s a fact that appearances MATTER.
So, if you have a presentation that’s not up to date people will think that your company is not up to date either.
Avoid this problem and give your old presentation a facelift or redesign the presentation from scratch.
8. Admit When You’re Wrong
Everybody makes mistakes.
Even though I research and proofread, I still state incorrect information and misspellings from time to time.
When you make a mistake with your presentation, don’t try to cover it up.
Own up to it, fix it, and move on.
When your audience sees that you’re willing to admit to your errors and even draw attention to them, you’ll gain a reputation for accuracy and trustworthiness.
9. Use Specific Statistics
Be specific when talking about your key performance metrics.
If your business sold 14,784 products in one month don’t say that you sold almost 15,000 products. Using a specific number is more trustworthy than just saying “tons” or “tens of thousands.”
Better yet, back it up with an actual screen shot of your QuickBooks.
Personally, I love it when businesses lay it all out on the table for their audience to see: their income, social growth, etc. Even if your numbers aren’t impressive, you’ll gain your readers’ trust by showing you have nothing to hide.
10. Nail Your Opening And Closing
The beginning and the end of your presentation is super important when it comes to establishing your credibility.
Your opening sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and – when it’s done right – it can establish you as a trustworthy, engaging expert. In terms of your presentation design, make sure you have a powerful cover slide within your presentation template that spurs plenty of curiosity and emotion.
Your closing, when executed properly, can be the knockout punch that everyone will remember. Make sure to also include an impressionable slide for your closing as well.
Once you fine tune a great opening and a strong close, the rest of your presentation will find a momentum of its own.
When you give a presentation you want to make sure you are viewed as the REAL DEAL.
By taking the above presentation tips into consideration your credibility will rise considerably. When your credibility increases, your chances of closing the deal on your presentation also increases.
Here’s my question for you …
After reading this article, do you think you will implement some of these “credibility enhancing” presentation tips into your next presentation? Please be specific as possible with your comments.
Also, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation tips for his/her upcoming sales pitch or business presentation? If so, send them a link to this article. I’m sure they will return the favor on day.
Thanks for sharing and be sure to post this article on Twitter of Facebook as well (by using the sharing buttons to the left).
Icon Image Credit: Handshake by Diego Naïve, Trophy by David Cadusseau from The Noun Project