Presentations are an inevitable part of our work lives today. But as ubiquitous as they are in today’s workplace, more often than not, they seem a boring waste of time. Surveys have shown that most coworkers end up doing other things like checking their email, sending texts or even sleeping instead of paying attention to the presentation. Making your presentation interactive is imperative to avoid this.
Here are a few simple things that can help you hold your audience’s attention.
Involve the audience from the get go
Everyone will come in for a presentation with different frame of mind, thinking about work or their personal life. Make them all present by starting with an ice breaker. Involving them in a way which breaks them out of their indifference will give you the best start to your presentation.
Tell a Story
Tell a story to grip your audience. You can share a personal experience, or share someone else’s. The best way is to follow the 3 step narrative structure – introduction, conflict and resolution. This will involve your audience as they wait to know how it all ends. Make comparisons to everyday experiences of your audience to help them relate to or connect emotionally to what you are saying.
Ask Questions or Take a Poll
There’s nothing like asking a question mid-presentation or taking a poll to wake up the audience. Or invite them to ask questions or state their response to whatever you have been saying. Inform them from the beginning that you will be doing this and it will keep them on their toes listening intently throughout.
Keep it Short
Do not ramble on an on or belabour your point. The essence of a good presentation is to keep it short and simple as far as possible.
Using a short video or an animation is a proven strategy to generate interest in your presentation. Find a clip that will put your audience in the right mood or explain the concept or reinforce your information. Props can also aid because an audio-visual engagement is more interesting than just a voice droning on.
Speak Clearly and don’t be afraid to show your Passion
Last but not the least, remember honing your public speaking skills is important. Speaking clearly and with animation is very very important to capture and retain your audience’s attention. No one will keep listening to a drab and dull voice. Make sure to let your passion come through. After all only if you are interested in what you are saying will you be able to convince others to listen to what you are saying!