Knowing how to present a project is one of the crucial skills every project manager needs to have. It doesn't only help your agency find new long-term clients but also retain the current ones.
Unfortunately, many agencies struggle with finding new clients. Therefore, it's necessary for the initial project presentation to go off without a hitch, as a poorly presented project may cause your client to lose interest and walk away even before you had a chance to prove your worth.
How to start presenting a project?
If you want to know how to present a project, there are several steps you should go through:
- Offer an overview: describe your project briefly, state desired results, and why you initiated the project in the first place.
- Go through key outcomes and goals: discussing significant deliverables and what you expect to achieve is one of the important steps of this process. You need to do this before the discussion starts.
- Go through expectations: make sure you clarify assumptions and define all items that go out of your project's scope. Also, now is the right time to show a client the project's price while ensuring expectations are clear on both ends.
- Work on a schedule: for this purpose, use the Gantt chart. It will help you illustrate all the critical steps in your project schedule.
- Present your team: make your team members and clients acquainted.
- Set up communication channels: your client needs to understand how you will communicate. Inform them about the communication channels and how they will receive updates or reach you when they have concerns and questions.
- Review the unexpected: go through the entire process and see how you will handle issues and requests when they happen.
- Q&A: conclude your project presentation with questions and answers to ensure that you covered everything.
What is a good way to present a project?
Presenting a project can be nerve-wracking, even if you are a project manager with years of experience. That's why we compiled some tips that might come in handy during challenging times.
Be brief: Your project presentation should be very brief, but make sure to cover all the important topics. The more you talk, the more likely you will derail, start rambling, and let the nerves get the best of you.
Take breaks: don't be afraid to take a break or pause when needed. Take a breath, and collect your thoughts. Taking breaks will also help you stay calm!
Have your agenda ready: knowing what areas you will cover is crucial. A clear outline will make you look more assertive.
Practice: make sure to practice project presentation in order to appear less nervous. It would be great if you could rehearse before your team members. They can mimic your client's questions.
Go to other presentations: by watching other presentations, you will feel more comfortable with this entire process, along with questions you might be asked. This way, you can pick up tips on what to avoid.
Feel the environment: you need to spend some time in the meeting room, feel the atmosphere, and get familiar with presentation gadgets before the meeting. When you get used to the environment, everything else will be a piece of cake.
Get a good night's sleep: before the big day, ensure you are rested enough. Drink a lot of water, exercise, or do anything that helps to calm your nerves.
How to structure a project presentation?
Presentation structure allows your audience to follow your point of view while covering all important sections.
Greeting. Before you even start presenting the project, it's necessary to greet the audience. This step will clarify who you are, your role, and how you are relevant to the project. The greeting doesn't have to be long, but it helps establish an immediate connection with your clients.
Introduction. In the introduction, you will explain the purpose and the subject of your project presentation while gaining the client's interest. This part can have several sub-categories:
- Introduce the general topic
- Explain the topic area
- State issues you will be exploring
- State your project presentation purpose
- Provide a solution and what you are hoping to accomplish
Assess how long this part needs to be! For example, a sales pitch usually has a short introduction. Keep in mind that the primary goal of the introduction is to capture the audience's attention and connect with them.
The main point. In this part, you meet the promise you made in the introduction. Based on the nature of your presentation, you will clearly define different topics. Make sure to organize everything logically so that your audience can follow and fully understand.
- Address main points with supporting examples
- Before moving on to the next point, offer a mini-summary
- Make it clear you are moving to the next point
- Allow time for the audience to take notes
Conclusion. Unfortunately, the conclusion usually lacks purpose or is underdeveloped, but this is the best place to reinforce your message.
Covid-19 has significantly affected our ability to conduct meetings, and in-person meetings might be out of the question for quite some time. However, virtual project presentations have proven to be an excellent alternative. Here are some tips on how to present a project virtually:
- The camera needs to be at face level. Set up your equipment in a well-lit area.
- Use the best audio device you can get, preferably a headset with a microphone.
- Practice using the software to be comfortable with all features and navigation, like muting and unmuting participants.
- Send a copy of your agenda in advance if you encounter screen-sharing issues.
- Share technical expectations right from the start. For example, leave questions for the end, don't use chat, etc.
- Ask your team members to record the meeting, so you can share it with everyone else who couldn't attend your project presentation.
How to deliver a good project presentation?
- Show how passionate you are. Great presenters always claim that connecting with the audience is essential. The best way to do so is to show how passionate you really are. Be honest, and your clients will appreciate it.
- Focus on your client's needs. Your presentation needs to be constructed around your audience's needs and wants. While giving presentations, ensure you are focused on their response.
- Keep things simple. When making a presentation, always bear in mind the key message. Make sure to communicate it very briefly. A summary shouldn't take more than 30 seconds.
- Make eye contact and smile. You establish a connection with your audience by smiling and making eye contact. This will also help you feel less nervous.
- Begin with confidence. The actual opening of your project presentation is crucial. You must grab your client's attention and hold it throughout the end.