Encouraging the audience of a project presentation to take part in the experience is beneficial, according to the University of Washington. Before you even begin presenting a project, pique the interest of the audience by getting its attention in a creative way. Try doing things that actively involves the audience members if you want to get -- and keep -- their attention.
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Lights Out, Imagination On
Turn the lights out in the room and ask the audience members to close their eyes. Ask them to visualise a scene of whatever it is you're about to present. For example, if you're doing a project on the invention of the light bulb, you might say, "Keeping your eyes closed, imagine living life without a light bulb. Think about having to drive down the street, without street lights, in total darkness. What about if there were some kind of an emergency and you had to get to the hospital. What would you do and how would you feel?" Then you can ask them to open their eyes, flip the light switch on and begin your presentation, saying, "I now present to you the light bulb and its importance."
The point is to inspire the audience members to think about your presentation in a way they normally would not. That way they will be intrigued to continue listening to the information you plan to present thereafter.
Guess the Highlights
Ask each person to stand up and find a partner. Once everyone has a partner, announce the title of your presentation. Instruct the teams to take 15 seconds to discuss what they think the top three highlights of the presentation will be and to write them down. Proceed with your presentation, asking the teams to pay attention to the highlights. When you complete the presentation, reveal the top three highlights and see who came the closest to getting them all correct. You might even give a gift to the winner. This will keep the audience paying attention throughout the presentation.
Before anyone shows up to hear the presentation, put numbered sticky notes underneath the chairs (write a number for as many people as you expect on individual stickies). When it's time to begin your presentation, ask each person to guess the number of days it took to complete the project. The winner will get a prize. When the presentation is over, ask each person to check the number under his seat. Allow individuals to answer in the order of the numbers. Only after hearing the entire presentation will people be able to make an educated guess at how long it took to finish the project.
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