Presentations are a commonly used method to convey information in both business and education. Designed to reach an audience and either inspire or entice, presentations need to have that magical touch that captivates a listener. A great presentation can be the difference between having an audience that’s half asleep and an audience that’s clinging on to your every word. The days of presenting a bunch of slides whilst talking over the top are as good as gone. To make a great presentation today, you have to tap into your creative side and interact with your audience.
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Asking questions is a great way to keep an audience engaged with your presentation. After all, just because that audience is there to hear you talk doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to add. It’s a good idea to start asking questions early on in your presentation. This immediately bridges the gap between you and your audience and shows that you care about their ideas and opinions. Ask questions at regular intervals throughout your presentation to keep your audience switched on.
You should be aware that presentations are a two way process. You are talking to an audience that have minds of their own and probably have a few of their own questions they wouldn’t mind asking. Whether you’re presenting a new product for your business or a complex scientific theory, you should be prepared for and openly welcome questions from your audience. Allowing questions from your audience will make them feel more involved with your presentation.
Use video and pictures
The days of the text filled slide aren’t over, but they are making way for other novel ways of presenting ideas and information. Sitting through a lengthy presentation of slide after slide of text is enough to make anyone feel a little drowsy. You should also be aware that your audience consists of a group of individuals, each who have their own preferred method of learning and feeling engaged. By using an interactive mixture of text, pictures, and video in your slides, you’ll be keeping your audience on their toes and accommodating for the differences in how people stay attentive and learn.
Devise a quiz
Quizzes are a simple yet effective way of winning over an audience. One often used method that usually gets great results is to give the same quiz at the start and at the end of a presentation. This way, you make an immediate connection with your audience. By initially testing your audience on what they already know, you highlight any gaps in their knowledge and show them that they have the potential to learn valuable information from your presentation.
Tell a story
The best presenters are those who can bring a subject or product to life with an interesting story. People rarely feel engaged with or attach any meaning to ideas or concepts that lack any grounding in the “real world.” However, couple that idea or concept with a story and immediately you create an interesting context for your presentation. You may not be able to create a story for all aspects of your presentation, but when you can make sure you take advantage of the power that lies in storytelling.
These interactive ideas should give you plenty of ammo to bring that dull presentation to life. However, there’s no need to stop there and there are many ways to keep that audience engaged. Some of the greatest presenters in the world constantly adapt their approach to better engage their audiences. If you need some inspiration, take the time to watch presentations from great presenters in your industry and study their techniques.
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