4 tips to create an engaging presentation
Create an engaging presentation now!
Presentations, when they're good they're good, but when they're bad, they're bad! Avoid death by PowerPoint with these tips to an engaging presentation.
Despite all the posts and tweets to tell you otherwise, death by power point is still a major event in most people’s business week. So whether it’s the budget update, the headcount planning session or the operational forecast meeting it is possible to avoid people passing out with boredom. Many people haven’t figured out how to make these presentations more effective. Yet if you follow these basic tips you will produce something that will retain your audience’s interest to create a more engaging presentation.
When you design your presentation factor in all the usual considerations about colour and font size etc. but make sure your slides tell your story. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to achieve that.
1. Make every opportunity a sales opportunity
Every time you get on your feet in front of a group is an opportunity to sell yourself. So make the most of it. If you are the person who breathes life into the monthly financial report then your reputation will go before you. Having a rep for creating an engaging presentation is always a nice to have. Just make sure you don’t get stuck doing it for everyone else.
2. Replace data with images
Routine data sharing meetings are by definition heavy in numbers. It’s hard to make certain statistics exciting. There is a tendency to click through slides with pie graphs, charts and text heavy content which cause the participants to zone out.
But what you can do is change the background and use an image that is relevant to the message and superimpose your data on top that image in a series of key bullet points. A humorous image can also be effective but should be used judiciously and in line with your goals for the meetings. Information that may show drop in profits or headcount reductions shouldn’t really be used in conjunction with something light.
If you relate a message or theme to an image, use it consistently during the presentation to highlight key points.
Annabel Kaye recommends that it's important to:
3. Use animations
Don’t place all your text on the slide at once and then stand and read from it. For complex pieces of data that can work for a very few points only. No one expects you to commit to memory all the numbers, but you should know your stuff. By using animations you can focus on each piece of information to create the right amount of impact.
Bringing in pieces of your graphic or bullets of information in sequence and going back to highlight different factors will make the information more engaging and increase the likelihood of it being retained. You can use fade options for the points that are less significant. You can even add music and drum rolls for a major announcement.
Emily Hodge, Public Speaking Coach is an advocate of interactive meetings:
Get audience standing up and moving around as much as possible by making exercises of the different topics e.g. Discuss a graph in small groups then present your predictions back to speaker. Get them writing/doing using post-its e.g. Come up with solutions for the 3 main areas of concern for the business this quarter. Have them pick out one or two numbers/facts each to comment on why they are pleased/concerned about it then discuss ideas. Create handouts with missing info they have to spot. Create an 'ideal' and 'reality' quiz with the facts.
4. Use metaphors
If you are delivering the same piece of information every month or week trial using different metaphors to display your key message. Stacia Keogh suggests:
Aiysha Markham a market development manager from New York is frequently tasked to update on marketing operations, which she said is duller than watching paint dry. She says she frequently uses metaphors such as the weather or even animals to liven up her dull routine data presentation sessions.
If I was using weather as a metaphor to describe the shifts on the market this month I would say something like this “ this month’s market has been like a New York heatwave. Slow and heavy with very little movement.”
It only requires small shifts to produce big results so liven up your presentation as soon as you can!
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