The biggest secret that successful small businesses know is one so easy that anyone can do it. Curious what is it? Hint – it’s a business presentation! Read on and learn how you can make this small change that will make a huge difference.
Are you spending money on the right areas of your business to make an impactful difference on your bottom line? Many small business owners tend to spend money on the wrong things to grow and maintain their businesses, or they don’t invest in the right products and services at the right time to create the biggest long-term value for their business.
Spending money on a website is often one of the first and largest expenses a business makes in its start-up phase. Depending on what type of services and products you offer and how you plan to use your website, you may be focused too much on the website and spending more money on it than you need.
Successful Small Businesses Know This Secret
It isn’t the website and it isn’t social media marketing. The one investment that I have found that can accelerate your small business success that many don’t discuss or budget in their business plan is investing in a signature presentation, which showcases your expertise.
Creating a visually appealing PowerPoint presentation where the audience will be engaged on you as a speaker, versus the text on the slide, is a business expense that every business owner should plan and budget for – especially in the early years of your business.
What is a Signature Business Presentation?
A signature presentation is one that contains your key message and highlights your expertise. It’s one that you can continuously deliver wherever you are, saving you time and resources by having a go-to PowerPoint to use and re-package for your speaking opportunities. Having a signature presentation can create consistent brand awareness and build rapport.
If creating visually appealing presentations is not one of your strengths, I highly recommend hiring a presentation expert to revamp your existing content. Some common mistakes include putting too much text on a slide, leaving out images, or worse, using “free” images on the Internet that are copyrighted or need attribution when used. Hiring a presentation expert will save you from this stress – and free-up your schedule!
Where to Use a Signature Presentation
There are going to be lots of opportunities to use your signature presentation. Some of the most common places include:
- Workshops / Seminars
- Guest speaking opportunities (paid and unpaid)
Pitfalls of Speakers Without a Signature Presentation
The reason successful small businesses use signature business presentations is because it saves them from a lot of pitfalls.
Speakers without a polished presentation may create slides that are hard to read and leave the audience dumbfounded about what they even sat through.
I have an experience just like this.
Prior to finding out about presentation make-over services, I was given an opportunity to speak and present to a group of 15 aspiring entrepreneurs about financial success for small business owners. I jumped at the chance but didn’t have a signature presentation.
I had to quickly create a PowerPoint deck (staying up well past midnight the night before I delivered the presentation), making all the common pitfalls, including too many slides for the allotted time that I had, too much text on a slide, and not enough powerful images to make a lasting impact. Some of the slides were hard to read from the back of the room, and I found the audience wasn’t engaged and didn’t ask as many questions as I had hoped.
Fast forward several months later, I found out about PowerPoint redesign services through a colleague. I met with the founder and after listening to her services, I told her that I wished I knew someone like her existed three months prior! I told her the story about my first presentation as a small business owner and how I spent time working on something that was clearly NOT in my line of expertise.
A Note About Stock Images
You’ll want to have visuals of some kind throughout your presentation. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go buy a fancy camera and learn to use it! Instead, try stock images.
Stock image sites that I have found to have professional, good quality images, and have a good search engine (so you’re not spending hours looking for an image) include:
Beware of downloading any free images from the Internet! You want to make sure you don’t risk violating any copyrights and get sued for incorrectly using photos for your website or promotional materials. I knew a business owner who got sued for using a “free” image because his developer took an image from the Internet and used it in a blog post. The business owner took down his website for years because he wasn’t sure how many other “free” images that his developer used, and he slowly replaced every single image on his website.
What Should Be Included In a Business Presentation?
Successful small businesses have a solid presentation that clearly communicates their message. While you should always tailor your presentation to the topic at hand, there are a few things that should be included every time.
- Your name and contact information
- Brief introduction to your business
- Clear, large font with takeaways
Example: Before and After a Signature Presentation Make-over
Here’s an example of one of my slides before and after hiring an expert to revamp my PowerPoint presentation:
Is the Cost of Signature Presentation Worth It?
Depending on the number of slides and images you’ll need, expect a professional signature presentation to cost anywhere from $800 – $1,000 and up. If you’re thinking that is way too expensive and out of your budget, consider how many times you will be able to speak and get in front of your ideal audience.
Also, keep in mind that the more impactful your presentation is, the higher your chances are that you can get future speaking gigs, increase your email list, and gain new clients.
Having my book, Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur – Blueprint for Building a Solid, Profitable Business, make Amazon #1 Best Seller status and Amazon #1 Hot New Release opened the door to speaking opportunities. I received requests from professional groups, organizations, and community colleges to deliver my signature presentation, “7 Secrets to Financial Success for Small Business Owners.”
I am 100% confident that I wouldn’t have received a dramatic increase in speaking opportunities without a polished signature presentation. With the paid speaking opportunities and exposure to my ideal, target audience, I saw a return on my financial investment within three speaking gigs.
In addition to the monetary return, there are also the intangibles of increased exposure and getting input for future content based on audience questions and feedback.
Successful Small Businesses Secret: Final Thoughts
Bottom line – having a professionally-created and visually dynamic presentation will allow the audience to focus on you as the speaker, as opposed to the text on your slides. Hiring a visualist could save you on average eight to twelve hours per presentation. As recommended in my small business finance book, always consider what your time is worth and know when you can afford (and should) hire someone.
According to Wendy Gates Corbett, founder and lead visualist at Refresher Training, LLC, “Easily at least 85% of the presentations I see have too many words on the slide and not enough powerful images.”
If you get invited and hired to be a speaker, do you have a signature presentation? Is the audience engaged during your presentation or busy reading your slides?
If you don’t currently speak at events, would getting in front of your ideal audience help you grow your business? If so, have you created a signature presentation?
Interested in hearing more about how to ensure you have a successful speaking event? You’re in luck! Check out my post, What You Need To Have a Successful Speaking Event for all kinds of tips and tricks. You also might be interested in these: