We’ve all been there, sitting in the boardroom listening to a colleague present and all of a sudden you feel yourself nodding off into the distance. All of a sudden you’re awoken from your day slumber to the sound of “any questions?” It’s happens to all of us, buthow can we make sure we’re not on the other side of the table putting our fellow colleagues to sleep?
Here are the basic ways you can create stunning presentations and keep your audience sharp and on their feet throughout your entire presentation.
Tailor your Presentation
Know your audience. You know who your audience is whether they’re your friends and colleagues from the last several years, classmates, or investors you’ve merely just met earlier in the day. Whoever it is, speak to them like you would in everyday conversation. You wouldn’t speak to your colleagues the same way you would speak to an investor, so change your pitch, your word choice, and your body language respectively.
Start a Dialogue
Once you’ve established your tone of voice for the presentation based on your audience, start off as a basic conversation. Do people fall asleep when their in midst of a personal conversation with you? I hope not, so this is a great way to involve your audience and keep them awake and interacting.
Begin your presentation with a question; this sets the stage for an ongoing dialogue to take place throughout the entire presentation. Make sure to let your audience know they can jump in at anytime if they have a question or a comment. Not only will this help keep your audience involved, but it should also take a lot of the pressure off of you the presenter by thinking of it more of a conversation and less as a presentation.
Keep it short and simple. Often times I really am interested in the content that’s being presented to me, but I get so easily overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at me. Whether it’s too much clutter on the slides, or the speaker spewing out numbers with no context, getting overwhelmed makes my brain tune out. Once I’ve tuned out of the presentation it takes a lot for me to get involved again.
By limiting yourself to one slide, one idea, you can be guaranteed to cut down on a lot of this clutter. You don’t need to use every graph and chart you used in your research, save those for the appendix. Use the key figures that are necessary for the audience’s understanding and thoroughly explain them as not to lead them astray.
Differentiate between content
Nothing is worse as an audience member, than a presenter that gets up there to present and winds up reading word for word what’s on the slides. BORING! Hello, I can read for myself thank you very much. Change up the content on your slides so it’s something different from your onscreen content to keep your audience actively listening.
Make sure your slides support what you’re saying without completely reiterating it. For example, if I’m speaking about the amount of calories in a McDonalds burger, I could illustrate in the background how many fruits and vegetables are equivalent to the calorie count of the burger to make my point even stronger to the audience.
If you would rather present to an active audience of participants rather than a room full of snorers and wide open mouths, follow these steps to more engaging presentation skills. When it comes to the presentation itself use emaze to create powerful presentations, with their killer interactions and effects it’s not like your audience is looking at data. It’s like they’re watching a super sleekly designed show that tells the story of your data.