Effective business presentations can help an organization to reduce internal conflict and increase external sales. Business presentations can be used to confirm a company’s financial viability, to cast vision for a managerial staff and to honor the accomplishments of valued employees. Business presentations often take on distinctive characteristics depending on their overall purpose and the audience for which they are intended.
Many business presentations, such as quarterly accounting reports and departmental project updates, serve the primary purpose of communicating information. These presentations provide ideas, opinions and data for a specific audience. In preparing an informative presentation, you seek primarily to teach your audience about your chosen subject. To do so, you need to learn about your audience and how much they already know about the subject, and you need to gather accurate, reliable and credible information. Referencing specific authority figures and providing significant data can also help your audience to better understand your subject.
Some business presentations have a primary purpose of persuading an audience to adopt a certain belief or to make a specific choice. Persuasive business presentations occur both internally, such as when a manager seeks to convince the staff to begin recycling, or externally, such as when members of one company makes a sales presentation to members of another organization. When you prepare a persuasive presentation, you seek to provide credible information in a compelling way, and you seek to craft an effective argument as well. Persuasive presentations often involve proposing a change in belief or action that may either reinforce or change the status quo.
Business presentations may at times serve the purpose of not only persuading the audience to accept a certain perspective, but also motivating the audience toward a specific action. Motivational presentation use persuasive tactics. These presentations, though, focus more extensively on igniting the emotions and feelings of the audience. Sales managers, for example, may give a motivational speech during the annual sales meeting, just as a coach will make a motivational speech to a football team at halftime. Understanding your audience’s priorities, concerns, and motivations will help you to spur your audience to action.
Other business presentations serve the purpose of celebrating some aspect of business culture or some individual or group in a business community. Celebratory business presentations include toasts given at dinners and events, goodwill speeches made on historically significant dates, inspirational speeches given during a memorial or eulogy, and congratulatory messages recognizing achievements. These presentations help to demonstrate an individual’s commitment to the company and his coworkers and to show the company’s commitment to its employees and its ideals. Developing celebratory business presentations often involves researching your subject and practicing your delivery, as well as considering the needs and concerns of your audience.
- "Communicating at Work: Principles and Practices for Business and the Professions"; Ronald B. Adler, et al.; 2005
- "Strategic Communication in Business and the Professions"; Dan O'Hair, et al.; 2008
Christine Switzer has been a freelance writer since 2007. She contributes to travel and regional periodicals such as "Georgetown View" and "Burlington the Beautiful" and she enjoys writing on travel, lifestyle and the workplace. Switzer holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in English and has taught university courses in communication, public speaking and journalism.