Keep people listening during your presentations

20th January 2015

Have you ever delivered a presentation and thought, “My audience isn’t engaged. They’re not responding. I’ve lost them.”

Never pleasant.

And, when you’ve 32 slides still to go, it’s even worse.

Research shows most audiences are similar in what they like/don’t when receiving communications. Most like interactivity, stories, clarity, quizzes, humour, brevity. Most dislike irrelevance, no variety, text-filled slides, waffle, repetition, sloppy delivery.

So, use this research to make your presentations more audience-friendly. When you finish preparing your content, highlight the areas they’ll find fun and interesting. If there are long periods with no highlights, insert audience-engaging activities in there – for example:

  • identify questions you can ask to make it interactive
  • include a story – personal or funny works well
  • show a different-looking slide – maybe a picture, graphic, or cartoon
  • tell a joke

Do this and you’ll enjoy it more.

And when you enjoy it more, they will too.

And when that happens, your presentation is more likely to work.

Action point

For your next presentation, highlight where they’ll enjoy it – interactivity, stories, quizzes etc. If there isn’t enough highlighting, insert more interesting stuff.

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