We have all suffered miserably as the result of a bad Power Point presentation. Bad graphics, tiny font, endless copy and senseless special effects can lead to the slow, tragic death of your audience and can almost guarantee that there is no chance of being invite back. It can also become a crutch or a security blanket for the speaker. We can harken back to the old days when speakers spoke, even before slide and overhead projectors! No need to go back to the Dark Ages. Let’s see what we can do keep our audience healthy and happy and eager to hear more!
1) Mix it up! – Since we all learn in different ways, why not include different ways to communicate your message with your audience. Why not incorporate music, photos, demos and videos to engage all their senses. Give them something tangible to hold or do to drive a point home.
2) Use Social Media – Using social media is another way to get them involved. Some studies show that posting during a presentation increases audience engagement. If you are giving a formal presentation, give your social media content on the title page, so audience members add you to their social media networks. You might consider develop a Twitter hashtag and make some key phrases in your presentation tweetable.
3) Make audience participation part of the plan – According to research, the human attention is lower than five minutes now (maybe less!). Creating audience engagement is critical to keep people invested. An interactive presentation is an engaging one. Ask questions or use technology to take a poll of the audience. You can also design discussion groups to get people talking. But it needs to make sense…it can’t be random. Write your speech and then go back and look for activities that add value at that point in the presentation.
4) Give brief handouts – Handouts got a bad rap for some of the same reasons that power point presentations failed. Too wordy; microscopic print; fancy, unreadable font; and speakers reading instead of presenting. The key strategies to using handouts effectively are: A) Don’t overload the handout with too much info, only the crucial points you want them to learn, B) Allow a lot of whitespace between points for writing notes, C) Include any graphics, graphics, charts or images, as most people are visual learners.
5) Use a different software – According to research, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. You may be used to using Power Point, but if you are looking to use something more eye-catching, then consider trying new software options. Prezi is a cloud-based program that supports a more natural flow of ideas. It is highly visual and in a unique way, so by design it makes a big impact.
6) Use props – The ideas you want to share may best be conveyed through your storytelling skills, but it can be supported by a prop or two. An example was when Oprah wheeled out a wagon full of fat onto the stage, equivalent to the amount of weight she had lost. It certainly drove her point home to all who watched. Props are not always appropriate, but when done well, it can make a presentation even more powerful and memorable.
Make your presentation an experience and you’ll have them coming back for more. Have some ideas to share of how you’ve made your presentations more fun and effective, please share them with me.
If you’d like to be a part of community that will share ideas and give you feedback and encouragement, learn more about Engaging Speakers. https://engagingspeakers.com/
Gail Brown, Founder of Engaging Speakers, email@example.com