A business presentation is a formal tutorial or introduction of business practices or products. A business presentation is typically carried out using audio/visual presentation material, such as projectors and statistical documents created with presentation software, or more rudimentary materials such as flip charts and whiteboards.
The two most common types of business presentations are sales presentations and intra-organization presentations. Sales presentations are conducted by suppliers in front of a potential client or customer, with the express purpose of pitching their product or service. Intra-organization presentations are conducted by one or more members of an organization to their coworkers, and are often for the purpose of introducing new policies or operations.
In order for a supplier to conduct a sales presentation, he or she will first need to arrange an appointment with the member of the organization who makes the purchasing decisions. For example, a company that sells software specifically designed for engineers might approach an engineering firm and arrange an appointment with the information technology (IT) professional responsible for procuring the firm’s technology. If the supplier already has a relationship with the firm, securing an appointment for their business presentation will be easier than if they are attempting to set up a presentation by “cold calling.”
In order to make the best impression, suppliers who travel off-site to conduct business presentations are expected to dress professionally in a suit or other formal office attire and bring as many of their own presentation materials as possible. The sales presentation should begin by identifying the needs or deficits of the organization that the supplier plans to fill. The supplier should come prepared with pre-researched information on the specifics of the organization’s needs; or, in lieu of such details, statistics on the industry that the organization is a part of. The presentation should also feature an easy-to-follow demonstration of the supplier’s product or service, whether through an actual hands-on demo or a virtual depiction of the product or service in use.
An intra-organization business presentation is typically conducted by whichever department or personnel is spearheading the new operations that are being introduced to the organization. For example, if the Human Resources department is initiating a program for healthier living in the workplace, they might call a business presentation to familiarize employees with the new exercise programs and food options available to them at the office. Or, if a branch of an organization wishes to propose a new plan of operations to head office, they may pitch their ideas during a business presentation with the organization’s executives.