Are you struggling to find new ways to deliver your presentations, especially in the virtual arena? Or do you feel like your audiences are just snoozing and not listening at all to what you have to say? Then you may like our 6 quick tips to creating new and engaging presentations:
Warm up the crowd with a great ice-breaker
You may know very little or nothing at all about your audience and the same could be true for them. At the start of a presentation there’s often little rapport and the trust of your audience needs to be earned. The atmosphere is probably fairly neutral. The best way to encourage a warm, friendly atmosphere and get people to start to buy in and trust what you say, is to engage on an emotional level.
Laughter, shock, slight nervousness – all work to move your audience from neutral indifference to starting to pay attention. A good ice-breaker could be a topical joke, an interesting and relevant anecdote, or something to pull on their heart strings. Just keep it short, impactful and move on to the main event when you’ve got a reaction.
Keep things simple, short and to the point
A good game plan is to keep your presentation bite-sized. Keep to a structure and be consistent. Break up your presentation and have a logical step moving from one point to the next with a great round up in the conclusion. That way your audience will be able to follow along easily with your thoughts and messages and not risk losing concentration and drift off.
Tell a great story
A good story demands that once a listener hears the beginning, they want to find out the middle and then, must go on and hear the end – which is exactly what you want your audience to do in your presentation.
A story engages listeners, and they are more likely to remember you and your messages if you write and deliver your presentation around a ‘cracking story’. Think of your favourite TED talk as an inspiration and always plan for a beginning, middle and end to your story to keep your audience with you all the way through.
Practice your delivery
Take time to rehearse and practice your presentation many times before you deliver the real thing. The more you practice the better you will understand what content to create more emphasis with, what needs to be edited out, your own pitch and flow, and body language. Do a dummy run in front of a tame audience or video and play back to yourself.
With lots of practice not only will you get feedback on your presentation delivery but it will also boost your own confidence as a presenter.
Non-verbal communication is really important with presentations, probably more so for those delivered virtually. Being jittery or fidgeting will become distracting. Purposely and confidently use your hands and your facial expressions. Don’t forget that smiling will really improve the impact of your presentation and how well you and your messages are remembered.
Relate to the audience
Be mindful when you’re planning your presentations that sometimes you may lose your audience with techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas.
It’s a great idea to keep things relatable by bringing things back to your audience’s level, present data and technical information more creatively, thread things together with a story again, drop in some real life comparisons and keep messages clear and simple.
Need some more inspiration?
We have some great modules in our Deliver Inspiring Messages performance area that might be just what you’re looking for: