Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Keeping presentations interesting

10 quick tips

1.  Credibility
One of the key methods of keeping presentations interesting is to give credibility to your role within an organisation.  This credibility raises your stature with the audience allowing your presentation message to be set on an equivalent level.  One method of achieving this credibility is to refer early on in the presentation to case studies or research you may have undertaken.

2. Visual stimulus
Don’t stay on one presentation slide for too long. If a slide does not change with regard to content it leaves purely the slide narrative to stimulate the audience. Only having the one stimulus gives opportunity for the audiences mind to wonder. This drifting mind will not be receptive to a key message.

3. Transitions
Don’t move between slide transitions or visual stimuli too quickly. Doing so will cause the audience to process information at a high rate; this will leave the audience unable to take on board the full extent of the key message.  Whilst the audience are processing the imagery they will not be listening to the supporting narrative of your presentation.

4. Inflection
It is important to control the pitch, tone and inflection of your voice. This variation during the presentation allows emphasis to be placed on key message areas. A monotone voice does not provide sufficient variation to maintain interest.

5. Pre-empt questions
When designing your presentation think about the questions that the audience will be thinking as your presentation progresses.  By pre-empting the questions and supplying answers as part of your presentation will maintain the level of interest for delegates.

6. Information
Keep any information during the presentation relevant to the audience.  If this means adapting your presentation then do it.  No one wants to sit through content that does not apply to them. Once interest is lost in the presentation it is extremely difficult to regain the audience.

7. Ownership
To maintain interest in a presentation then let the audience feel part of the presentation. Any key messages will be easier for the audience to absorb if they feel they own a little part of it. This ownership could be through a voting system or other form of formal interaction.

8. Style
Don’t overindulge your passion for acting.  Your presentation style can carry a level of interest for the audience; however beware of becoming over elaborate. Performing gestures like an old style silent movie star will only cause distraction for the audience. Therefore distinguish between a confident presentation style and an over elaborate actor.

9. Bluffing
The audience you are presenting to are human beings. They will pick up on every piece of negative physiology, this includes lying or bluffing. Audience members will lose interest if they do not trust your integrity. Therefore be honest during your presentation.

10. Rehearse
Finally to maintain the interest in a presentation do not stumble over the narrative of the presentation. The more you rehearse the clearer the presentation will become and the greater confidence you will have when standing on the stage.

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