Are you about to give a business presentation, but you’re not sure where to start? Whether you’re addressing individuals for the first time or you know them well, speaking to an audience has a purpose that you shouldn’t overlook.

Everyone in attendance is there because you have something important to say. Take a look at the following essential steps to give power to your presentation and increase your persuasive abilities.

Connect With Your Audience

Presenting to an audience of any size can be intimidating if you do not prepare, but you can take simple measures to ensure you are addressing your audience’s needs. Begin by showing them how passionate you are about speaking to them and sharing the information you will give them, then explain how you will do it.

Focus the presentation on your core message, keeping the information simple enough for the audience to understand how it applies to them. Don’t hesitate to use stories to explain how your views and recommendations will help solve the needs you are there to address.

Practice Your Presentation

The best way to feel natural doing something that feels unnatural to you is to repeat the behavior over and over until you are as comfortable as possible.

When it comes to making a presentation, you want to practice the words you will say and the way you are going to say them. Think about how you will speak. Remember to relax your body, breathe normally, and emphasize key points by varying your vocal patterns.

Prepare a Call to Action

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for any presentation is to plan your message ahead of time, from the opening line to the conclusion. While you are likely to be most anxious about getting your talk off to a great start, it is just as vital that you engage your audience in a way that’s worth their time and yours.

The best way to do this is to have a call to action. Ask your audience to do something that will put your presentation into an active mode. A call to action can be as simple as asking for a client or customer to make a purchase or having employees take responsibility for a project. Either way, you will want to ensure that your audience members don’t leave your presentation without gaining something actionable from you.

Remember to Follow Up

Something that you can easily overlook when it comes to presentations is what happens after. Just because you have made your speech and have delivered your call to action doesn’t mean you’ve completed your job.

Maintaining connections with those in your audience is one excellent extension of your presentation. One great way to do this is to send business thank you cards to those in attendance, thanking them for their time and response. Likewise, anyone who helped you with your presentation should get a thank you card for their time and effort.

Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be ready to give a powerful business presentation to any audience.