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No one enjoys sitting through dozens of dull PowerPoint slides. Part of being a successful business leader entails delivering powerful business presentations to potential clients and colleagues. Follow these steps to engage with your audience and deliver a memorable business presentation every time.

Test the technology. There’s nothing worse than stalling your presentation because you can’t get the HDMI cord to work. Arrive early to test the technology and connect to a Cox Wi-Fi hot spot, if needed, so you’re ready to go when your audience arrives.

Tell a story. While facts and statistics support your message, be sure to include personal anecdotes and relatable stories to trigger an emotional response and draw in your audience. Presentations that are emotionally engaging are often more memorable. 

Keep it simple. Making too many points in one presentation will confuse your listeners. Keep it succinct by sticking to three key takeaways.  Look at the popularity of “Ted Talks”, short, direct, focused.

Speak their language. Keep your audience in mind when preparing your script and avoid using unfamiliar terms. If necessary, provide brief examples or definitions during the presentation.

Use imagery. People remember 55 percent more information if it’s combined with a visual aid. As a rule of thumb, you should include more visuals than text on each slide. 

Avoid excessive flair. Design templates can help make your presentation uniform and visually appealing, but certain accessories such as animated slide transitions aren’t always appropriate for a business presentation. 

Ask questions. Get your audience thinking by asking thought-provoking, rhetorical questions. Be sure to advance your message by answering these questions throughout your presentation.

Move around. Don’t be afraid to walk around or use hand gestures to infuse personality and vibrancy into the presentation. 

Seek coaching. If speaking in front of an audience makes you cringe, professional coaches can help you conquer this fear and strengthen your public speaking skills.

Practice makes perfect. Rehearse your presentation a couple of times in front of your peers. They will be able to point out if your message comes through clear and makes sense.

Lisa Lovallo is the Southern Arizona market vice president for Cox Communications, which employs more than 300 Southern Arizonans. Reach her at