When making a business presentation, knowledge is essential, but how you present information is important as well. Here are 8 tips to hone your presentation skills.
1. Know your audience
It is important to know who will be attending your presentation for a number of reasons. This will help you choose a suitable presentation template, know how to dress appropriately, understand their level of knowledge, decide the best approach, and anticipate questions.
2. Avoid bullet points
It is well known that long strings of text are a terrible option for presentations. This would make your audience divided between listening to you and reading all the material that is on your slides, which can be overwhelming or simply boring.
Despite being better than endless sentences, bullet points aren’t the most effective presentation technique. If you don’t use audio and images to reinforce your point, the information will probably get lost.
This is not just random advice–it is actually supported by research. Individuals who are exposed to visual information pay significantly more attention and can better recall it than people who see a bulleted list version of the same information. Presentations with visuals are certainly more effective than text-only presentations.
When you really need to use text, keep it simple. Avoid using more than three bullet points per slide. This way, your audience will spend less time multitasking by reading and trying to understand your message. Your presentation will be more pleasant and less tiresome.
3. Avoid too much information
Though numbers and data can help you validate the point you are trying to make, using too many charts and graphs will not be effective either. Your audience will probably forget most of the information. A better approach is to combine stories, concrete examples, and metaphors to present your information.
Make your slides brief, visually engaging, and easy to understand.
4. Use comparisons
Connect your data to real life examples. Use your creativity and try to tie the information you are presenting to things we observe in our daily life.
For example: instead of simply saying that a machine is able to lift 10 tons, mentioning that this corresponds to 20 adult elephants, and actually presenting a picture of 20 elephants, will be much more memorable.
Comparisons are a powerful way to boost your presentation and make your audience retain information.
5. Limit your key points
Select a few key messages you want your audience to remember, and make sure to mention them regularly during your presentation. Talking about them only once or twice is not enough.
6. Formatting matters
Keep slides as clean as possible and use fonts that are easy to read. Make sure there is good contrast between text and background.
Do not use uppercase when it’s not necessary. Typing in all caps is perceived by many as yelling and it’s considered unprofessional.
7. Record yourself practicing
Whenever possible, record practice presentations. This will make you much more aware of your body language and non-verbal communication.
Pay attention to your facial expressions, posture, gestures, movements, and tone of voice. Take notes of what can be improved and gradually work on it. If possible, ask for feedback from a colleague.
Wrap up your presentation by summarizing the take away points. No matter how effective your presentation was, humans need repetition to memorize information. Don’t waste the chance to repeat your main message at the end.
If you have to make a presentation to an audience of non-native English speakers, consider having your presentation translated into their native language. Not only does this show you care about your audience, but it also helps you build rapport and make your message more meaningful and easily understood.
We understand that speaking another language is a very time-consuming process, but hiring a professional to translate marketing material and presentations is a quick and affordable way to make your target audience more satisfied and engaged. After all,
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
- Nelson Mandela
If you are in doubt whether translating your material would be useful or not, just give it a try. The results will surprise you.
 Kernbach, S., Eppler, M. J., & Bresciani, S. (2015). The Use of Visualization in the Communication of Business Strategies: An Experimental Evaluation. International Journal of Business Communication, 52(2), 164–187. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488414525444
Every now and then we hear someone, usually dissatisfied, saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The rationale behind this principle is very understandable: if something is working reasonably well, why should we change it? It is risky and things can go wrong.
However, something about this mindset bothers me. The last time I heard it was on a discussion forum at ProZ.com, the world’s leading translator community. Many users were furious because the site staff made significant changes to one of the features of the website – the job search engine. This was one of the arguments of a user trying to convince the staff to go back to the previous layout: if it ain’t broke, don't fix it.
I don’t like long discussions, so I just read that and moved on, but I do like to understand human behavior. Did you realize that most people just hate change? It is human nature. In that particular case, people were used to the previous layout. They knew how to use it. Now someone simply goes there and changes everything. Why?! Now they will have to learn it all again. As Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”
But what about the other side of the coin? Did the complainers even think about it for a second? The change was made by the staff. They put effort into it. I am quite convinced that they were trying to improve the system, rather than bothering users. Have they succeeded? I don’t know. But that’s not exactly the point. The point is, nearly every time someone says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” there is someone on the other side trying to improve things.
Where are you, in situations like that? Are you the one who always complains? Or are you the one who embraces changes and gives them an honest try before judging?
In a deeper sense, we are talking about comfort zone here. “If it ain’t broke, don't fix it” is a comfort-zone mindset. Just stay where you are. Do not improve. Do not try anything new. Just keep the status quo.
Again, I do understand the pain of having to deal with new situations. It easier to stay where we are now. On the other hand, should we criticize someone for trying to improve things? I don’t think so. And that’s exactly what we do when we say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
One of the fundamental requirements of most quality systems is continuous improvement, not keeping things as they are. Therefore, when you hear someone saying that–or even catch yourself thinking like that–take this a red flag. It is just a desperate cry to stay in the comfort zone. Resist it. Staying in the comfort zone doesn’t lead to any improvement.
My suggestion? Replace the poor “if it ain’t broke, don't fix it” mindset with Tim Duncan’s advice:
Good, better, best.
Never let it rest.
Until your good is better
and your better is best.
Much better, isn’t it?
Engineering is one of the most specialized fields of translation. It demands extensive knowledge and, if the translator intends to deliver clear and accurate translation, they need to have a thorough understanding of the subject.
We have seen numerous cases of people translating material in this field without fully understanding the principles behind a given machine, equipment, or system, and the result is inevitably poor, with sentences that range from slightly confusing to utterly unintelligible.
Translators who wish to succeed in this field should be familiar with the types of documents that are common in this industry, such as technical reports, drawings, and specifications, user manuals, safety guidelines, quality standards, certificates, and others.
Since small mistakes can have enormous consequences, it is crucial for the translator to have the right skills. A safer path for your company is to look for a professional translator with an Engineering degree from a renowned university, besides relevant experience in the field. Otherwise, it may be venturing into dangerous territory.
At MRC Translations, we care about your reputation and brand image. Does your company need help with engineering translation? Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Brazil is the second largest manufacturer and consumer of ceramic tiles in the world, after China. Over the last years, it has experienced considerable growth, overtaking traditional manufacturers such as Italy and Spain.
According to the National Association of Ceramics Industry (Anicer), Brazil has a prominent characteristic: its ceramics industry is widely scattered, with about 100 manufacturers, and none of them has a market share larger than 10%.
Although ceramic manufacturing companies are spread across 18 states, two industrial hubs concentrate more than 80% of the national production. One is located in the state of Santa Catarina and plays a significant role in Brazilian exports. The other is in the state of São Paulo, more specifically in the Santa Gertrudes region, and it is the largest ceramic manufacturing center in the Americas (and the second largest in the world). This region comprises the cities of Limeira, Cordeirópolis, Santa Gertrudes, Rio Claro, Ipeúna, Piracicaba, and Iracemápolis, which account for about 65% of the ceramic production in Brazil.
Santa Gertrudes hosts a large event in the field of ceramics: the International Meeting of Suppliers for the Ceramics and Mining Industry (Forn&Cer, Encontro Internacional de Fornecedores para Indústria Cerâmica e Mineração).
International events like this are great business opportunities, but they are even better if your company is well prepared. Have you ever considered localizing your marketing material? If you take into account that Brazilians have a very low level of Business English, speaking their language can make a huge difference for your business.
Does your company need help with translation and localization? MRC Translations can help you. Click here for more information.
Doing business in Brazil can be challenging, particularly because of issues like taxing, customs bureaucracy, and poor infrastructure in some parts of the country. However, there are great opportunities for companies in all industries.
Brazil has a diverse and sophisticated manufacturing sector, as well as a large population – over 205 million people. It is a global economic force, ranked as the eighth-largest economy in the world by GDP . Therefore, it is a huge market that definitely deserves attention.
Brazil’s major imports  include:
Manufactured goods represent about 85% of Brazil’s imports, while raw materials—especially crude oil, coal, natural gas, and wheat grain—account for about 10% of it .
When it comes to imports, its main partners are China (19%), the US (16%), Argentina, and Germany (6% each), followed by South Korea, Mexico, Italy, Japan, France, India, and Chile.
Some of the fastest-growing industries are electronics, ships and boats, organic chemicals, and mineral fuels.
If your company intends to do business in Brazil, you should also consider the language barrier, which is often neglected. By choosing the right approach, you will increase the chances of success of your business. Partner up with MRC Translations and localize your content. You will be a step ahead of your competitors.
Matheus R. Chaud
I am a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker with extensive experience in translation, proofreading, editing, subtitling, and quality assurance.