Presentations: 14 Ways to Make Them Interesting

 They’ve come to hear you speak. Their time, like yours is precious. There were many other things they could have been doing. Instead, they chose to attend your presentation. In reality, they’ve entrusted you with their time – a precious gift. You therefore owe it to your audience to make it interesting, and to give them the stuff they came to hear.

So how do you grab your audience by the scruff of their necks right from the start and keep them riveted to your message through to the finish? You certainly need to attend to a lot more than just your content. You need to be purposeful in your preparation. By asking yourself these 14 key questions, at preparation stage, you will set yourself up for a presentation that is sure to keep them riveted:

1. Why did they come? They came to receive value specifically related to the topic you were billed to speak or present on. As a result of what you say, the best result for everyone is that something should happen. If nothing happens as a result of your presentation, then why did you bother? Be absolutely clear about your central message.

2. What did they come to hear? Whether it was the talk title, topic or product they came to hear about – that’s what you should give them. Not a whole lot of other stuff. The other stuff we mistake for value add is merely clutter. Go deep into the stuff they came to hear. 85% or more of your content should be only that.

3. How will they remember what I said? If you can link specific concepts or points to real life scenarios or stories, your point is more likely to be memorable. After 24 hours most people will only remember 1 or 2 key points anyway. Link your stories to those key points, and make sure that they remember the important stuff.

4. Is structure important? The structure of your content is more than important – it’s vital! Start by telling them what you’re going to be speaking about – it’s called setting up the topic. That way, they know they’re at the right place! Maintain a thread of logical order throughout your presentation so that it makes sense and is easy to follow. Wrap up neatly at the end. If you’re going to allow a question time, before the wrap up is the time for it. If you have the opportunity to record your rehearsal, play it back to ascertain whether the flow works. If you’re not sure, ask someone else’s opinion.

5. Are last minute changes advisable? Introducing a snippit of current news or up to date information immediately grabs people’s attention and can be a great addition to your presentation. Up to date information can be added a day or 2 before, and a news snippet can be added on the day. But avoid making far reaching changes a few hours before. You may confuse yourself completely!

6. Must I use humour? Light heartedness is preferable to a string of pre-planned jokes which can fall flat if not delivered properly. Humour gets people into a receptive mood and engages them – and spontaneous humour is easily the most effective. It is therefore important to get yourself into a relaxed, up-beat state of mind prior to your presentation.

7. Should I interact with the audience? Audience interaction is on the increase as the Silent and Boomer generations give way to the X & Y generations now taking over the marketplace, social space and audiences. These younger generations now expect interaction. In the future speakers or presenters who fail to interact with their audiences will become largely obsolete and irrelevant. The most common way of interaction is via questions. The presenter can ask the audience questions or invite questions from the audience. Increasingly, presenters will get the audience to interact with props, electronic gadgets and even television screens. If you develop the ability to respond to reactions or chirps from the audience, you will heighten audience interest and engagement. This also indicates that you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself.

8. Do I bang on too much? Waffling on and pontificating about the same thing is the quickest way to shift audience attention to the nearest mobile device within reach. Keep your points crisp, illustrate using stories or examples, then move on. It’s far more powerful to return to a key point to re-emphasize, several times if warranted, rather than going on continuously.

9. What kind of language do I use? In order to reach as many audience members as possible, simple is always the best. Except in rare cases, the vast majority of audience members use a vocabulary of less than 1500 words and simply won’t understand words outside of that range. It follows that too many “big” words will result in you losing that person completely. It’s important to note that the possibility exists that that was the very person you most wanted to influence!

10. What techniques can I use? My friend and fellow author Alan Stevens refers to the “rule of three” which creates a strong impact. For example you may say “regardless of wind, rain or blizzard, we will deliver on time”. In a political context, try this. “They have no clothes, they have no food, nor do they have shelter, but they are our countrymen and it is our duty to help them.” You can always slip one of those in somewhere. Another one is the technique of anaphora, where one repeats a phrase in a speech. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” is a great example of this.

11. Is tone of voice important? People may be attracted to attend a presentation to learn, but once they’re there, they also like to be entertained and informed. A warm, friendly, conversational tone will keep them engaged far better than preaching. Listen to a recording of your speech to help eliminate voice tone problems such as monotony or speaking too fast.

12. What about the visual aspect? A person can only focus their eyes on one place at a time. Preferably, that should be on you. Slide shows, unless used professionally and sparingly can be distracting and cause confusion. When planning your presentation be absolutely sure where you want the audience to be looking at any given time. Keeping them looking where they should be looking makes the presentation much more interesting for them. If various people are looking at different things at the same time, you have not got their focused attention. Distraction is therefore a major reason for presentation disconnect.

13. If I smile frequently will I be taken seriously? Paradoxically, yes you will! Friendliness makes you appear more charismatic and authentic and ensure that people warm to you. The smile is the big persuasion tool that wins over your audience. Use it lavishly, but at the appropriate times. Your default expression should be one of warmth.

14. Where should I be looking? You should not be looking at slides, the carpet, your shoes or the ceiling. Making eye contact with your audience creates a strong connection and makes your presentation much more engaging – and interesting. For a larger audience, looking at sections of the audience will do the trick.

There’s just one more thing, of course. You need to go through it a few times beforehand. That’s the bit we usually forget. Preparation without rehearsal is like an unserviced vehicle – it just doesn’t go very well. You only need a few failures for your confidence to plummet, so don’t do that to yourself. Make the time to rehearse. That means your other prep should be completed well in advance.

There is nothing like a well planned, riveting presentation to ensure that you get the result you planned.

Business Presenting – How To Make A Great First Impression

In presentations, as in life, you only have one chance to make a first impression. This is why the titles of your presentations are crucial.

In this short article, let’s examine how to title your presentation to immediately attract your audience.

What’s in a presentation title?

If you look at most business presentations, strategy messages, and sales pitches, you’ll notice one thing. Deadly boring titles.

If you were giving an award for the most boring, the dullest, and the most tedious titles, you’d have to have a lot of ribbons to hand out!

Sadly, many professionals title their presentations without thinking of catchy words, emotional spark or what the audience is really seeking.

This gives rise to titles such as:

Enterprise Sales Enablement Solutions

Research Findings For Field Utilization From The ACME Study

Strategic Initiatives In Alignment to The Corporate Vision for 2020

What’s your response to these titles?

Yawn.

If presentation and conference titles were looking for extra work, they might double as a cure for insomnia. Think I’m kidding? Try reading the titles in your industry’s conference brochure and staying awake!

Well, you’re not alone in falling asleep while skimming the titles.

Here’s what your clients and prospects are thinking as they preview the titles: “I’m getting sleepy and bored before I ever sit down. Maybe I do need to skip out and grab a latte.”

And as luck would have it, they may not come back from the coffee shop in time for your talk! Instead of risking the dreaded fate of presenting to an empty auditorium, get out your red pen and do some editing.

Be ruthless. Aim for dynamic headlines to describe your talk.

Here are a few pointers for titling your talk, pitch or report:

Tip 1. No Passive Language

Use verbs! Speak in active terms.

Tip 2. No Long Words

If your title is easy and catchy, you should be able to say the name of your presentation without sounding as if you have marbles in your mouth.

Tip 3. No Corporate Jargon

You are giving a dynamic presentation, aren’t you? Signal this to your audience. Avoid using words that only belong in the corporate bylaws or annual report. Avoid sounding like you never get out of the office park.

If you aren’t sure whether your title passes this 3-point test, do not check with an office mate. He or she may not be able to spot the lack of luster in your title. Instead, check with a 6-year old. If your young friend understands, can repeat the title and can say it without effort, then you deserve a gold star!

Hint: most likely you will sit in a meeting or presentation this week. Notice how the title of the presentation or talk affects you. Now you know the rules. Play a little game to challenge your inner-editor. See how you can rename these presentations to ignite interest and spark excitement.

Once you get used to renaming other people’s presentations, it’s a whole lot easier to edit your own. Funny thing, eh?

Write powerful titles to make a great first impression and cut through the clutter. Use the right words and pictures to connect with what matters most for your audience.

Projector Presentation – How to Get Started

Completing a projector presentation requires you to have the right tools. Whether it is for a school, work or personal project, you will need to take the time to gather the equipment and data that is necessary to get started.

Equipment

One of the most obvious tools that you will need is a video projector TV. You can purchase this device on the Internet to find the most variety. When you buy projector online, you will be able to quickly compare each model and find the features that you need. Once you have the unit, you will also be able to use it as your main television and movie source in your home since it is versatile, lightweight and portable.

Another important piece of equipment is the pointer presenter. This device makes it easier to outline important points throughout your projector presentation. It lets you identify vital pieces of information so that your followers can understand what you are discussing. Most models have a laser light for precision and easy viewing.

One last essential device that is needed to carry out a successful presentation is a remote control for the video projector TV. A remote control makes it easy for you to glide through your presentation. If you buy projector online, the retailer will most likely carry essential accessories, which makes your shopping experience convenient and straightforward.

Data

Your entire production will revolve around the data that you have gathered. It is imperative that you properly analyze and assemble your information in an easy to understand format so that your followers do not get lost. Your research can be performed online, through library resources, interviews and more. In order be successful, it is crucial that you have reliable information that can hold up to common questions and arguments.

Once you have assembled your information, you may want to print out data sheets that have charts and graphs. You can have these records professionally bound for an enhanced appearance. Making it easy for your followers to comprehend the information that you are supplying allows you to have a successful presentation, which is why a pointer presenter is vital.

You may also want to bring a notebook to jot down things that you would like to improve or alter, as well as key questions that were asked. Being prepared goes a long way and lets you stay organized from start to finish. A projector presentation can be properly structured by having the right organization skills.