Meetings and presentations are the norm for many businesses, offices, and companies. After all, it is a great way to disseminate information to your team. Unfortunately, your team doesn’t necessarily feel that way.
The truth is, many presentations are boring, and the more boring they are, the less those in attendance are going to get from it. Some presentations are so dull that attendees doze while the speaker clicks through slide after PowerPoint slide.
Don’t be that presenter that causes everyone to roll their eyes when they get a meeting notification! With these five tips, you can consistently create presentations that energize and interest your audience.
Use the Right Software
Just standing in front of a group with a pile of papers is a sure way to create a boring meeting. It is much better to make sure you have the right visual support, but that doesn’t mean PowerPoint slides can’t be boring too!
Make sure you set yourself up for success by getting the most out of your presentation software. For example, the right software can allow for real-time co-authoring so that your audience can make comments and ask questions in real time without interrupting your presentation.
Choose software that allows for a high level of personalization, like interesting slide transitions that will keep your audience engaged.
Most people aren’t excited about sitting through another meeting. Coming in with a defeated attitude ensures that your audience won’t get what you want them to get from your presentation. Energize them from the very beginning and you can hold their attention for longer.
Ice breakers are a great way to start a meeting. Introduction activities are great for groups that are unfamiliar with each other, but there are plenty of ideas that are great for groups that know each other well too. A few ideas include:
- Prime their brains for the meeting by having them sign their name with their non-dominant hand.
- Show a few slides with interesting optical illusions.
- Ask attendees to prep an interesting fact before the meeting that can be shared when they arrive.
Opening strong means making attendees comfortable too. Everyone will appreciate snacks and drinks before the meeting starts!
Make it Personal
Presentations, especially work presentations, can be extremely boring because they are so dry. It’s all about sharing facts with very little, if any, attention spent on making the presentation more personal. However, making it personal is what will make it more interesting!
Try opening your presentation by telling a personal story, or weaving personal anecdotes throughout your presentation. The more relevant and interesting you make the information, the more likely your audience will be to pay attention.
Having a hard time making your presentation personal? Inject some humor! It’s a great way to humanize the content in your presentation, especially if it’s not very exciting.
Less is More
You probably want to tell your audience as much as you can about a particular topic. It isn’t uncommon for presenters to request a meeting timeslot for 30 minutes, an hour, or even more.
Most people aren’t going to pay attention that long. The shorter your presentation is, the more your audience will appreciate it. After all, they probably have a lot of work to do!
A 20-minute presentation is better than a 60-presentation, but a 5-minute presentation is even better, if you can trim down the time that much. You can always provide them with additional information that they can look over at their leisure. They’ll have the time to do that if you schedule an hour meeting, but you manage to get your presentation done in 5 or 10 minutes!
Get Participation from Your Audience
Presentations are traditionally very passive. The presenter shares information while the audience listens, watches, and takes notes. That can get boring fast.
Instead, look for ways to make your presentation more interactive. A few examples include:
- Ask questions and call on participants to answer.
- Ask for opinions or observations throughout your presentation.
- Break into groups to complete a task, then reconvene later.
- Get attendees moving by asking them to raise their hands or stand up to show agreement.
Meetings and presentations aren’t what most employees look forward to. They would rather buckle down and get their work done! However, meetings are sometimes necessary, and when they are, your audience will appreciate the time and effort you put into making your presentation as interesting as possible.