One of the easiest ways to lose your audience is with a boring slide show presentation. Power Point presentations have unfortunately become synonymous with long, drawn out speeches which trigger nap time. If you want to keep your audience engaged, follow a few tips to make sure you are giving a stellar performance.
Use Photos and Graphics
People hate walls of text. They simply tune it out. It’s visually unappealing, difficult to read and boring. Bullet points are a slight improvement but even they can cause your audience’s eyes to glaze over. If you want to talk about the emergence of technology in the workforce, don’t list three bullet points about computers, headsets and instant messaging. Show a photo of a person using their computer, wearing a headset and sending an instant message. There are many great sites where you can find free photos online, so take advantage of these and punch up your presentation.
Don’t Be Lazy
Taking your notes and typing them into a presentation is lazy. You are depending on your slides to make the presentation for you. The slide show is there to enhance your presentation, not to take your place. Keep slides short and to the point, using as few words as possible. Don’t make your audience simply read what’s on the slide. Talk to them and engage them, using written content only when necessary.
This is not Disney, Don’t be an Animator
Using one or two graphics is fine. Having shapes and colors dancing all over the screen is distracting. Choose one or two animations to illustrate your point. The key here is to wow the audience with your words, not pages flying in and out and pictures whisking in and then dissolving. While Powerpoint offers a dizzying array of animation options, stick to one or two throughout the presentation and allow your audience to focus on you.
Keep it Simple
Steve Jobs was one of the most influential innovators of his time and he was known for being a powerful orator. Steve Jobs kept things simple, explaining complex concepts in a way that experts and novices alike could understand. Keeping things simple is a way to keep your audience engaged. Avoid cramming hour’s worth of information down their throats at once.
Delivering a winning presentation that is memorable and engaging is a challenge. Create great content and deliver a phenomenal slide show for a presentation they won’t soon forget.