Doing a business presentation is really no different than putting a good meal on the table. It all comes down to planning and preparation. While you make have the occasional spur of the moment presentation, most presentations are scheduled ahead of time. That means you have plenty of time to prepare.
When you fix a meal the first thing you do is plan your meal. You decide on your menu. You look at what ingredients you have available or you go to the store and puchase the necessary ingredients. It's the same with a presentation. You decide on the menu and ingredients. What is the point you want to get acrosswhat "dishes" will you use. Handouts, Power points charts and graphs are the dishes you will be serving. What ingredients will you use to create the dish?
Once you decide on the dishes and the ingredients, you need to prepare them for cooking. You wash and chop vegetables, measure your ingredients and get them ready for the pot. This is also what you will do with your presentation. It often involves researching your prospect. Just as different people like different foods, different prosepcts will like different approaches. You have to know what it is your prospect wants. Some prospects may want nothing but a power point, Other may only want handouts still other may desire a combination of both. You need to know what will resonate best with them. Then you need to look at what information will resonate best with them. As a CITRMS I've discovered all businesses want to protect their bottom line only the methods vary. You have to discover what information will be most powerful with that particular business.
Once you have all of your ingredients for your meal prepared and ready to go, it's time to cook them. This is the point where you are actually combining the ingredients into the finished product you will put on the table. All good cooks not only are applying heat and seasonings to their food, they taste as they go. And make the adjustments needed to ge tthe food to turn out "right". Tasty and not over or under cooked. You are also cooking your presentation at this point and just like a cook you need to taste as you go. You also need to add seasonings and make sure you don't over or under cook your presentation. So here are the cooking guidelines for a good presentation:
1. Never serve a "bland" presentation. Facts and figures can be important but anyone can look up statistics, add real world examples of the effects of those facts and figures. Spice it up!
2. Don't over season the presentation. Use images (photos or short video) but don't over load it.
3. Don't over or under cook the presentation. Too long and they will be bored and fidgety and their attention will wander to something else of more importance to them. Too short and they will not get your point.
4. See how it "tastes". Does it flow rhthymically or does it seem to bounce all over the place Are you beating a dead hosre by constantly harping on one point?
Serving the presentation
Do a taste test. Get someone else to be your guinea pig and provide feedback if possible. Professional chefs don't just throw original dishes on the table immediately after they create them. They test them out on friends, family and other chefs first to get some feedback. Then they adjust it according to that feedback until they have it right. Then they practice creating that recipe until they can do it easily and without a lot of thought. They get comfortable with it. Then they will add it to the menu at their restaurant.
This is exactly what you want to do. When you get the feedback adjust your presentation, then practice it until you are comfortable with it. So when you actually do give the presentation you appear confident and knowledgeable.
About those spontaneous presentations, they happen but if you know your information you can do a short spontaneous presentation with nothing more than a brochure, or an article relating to your presentation. Don't give them the whole spiel give them enough to make them want to hear the entire presentation!