There’s so much that goes into delivering an engaging presentation to your audience. Getting your audience engaged in your presentation involves more than just reading your slides and expecting people to pay attention. It entails catching your listeners’ attention from when you begin until the end.
At times, keeping the audience glued to a presentation fails. It’s common to see presentations where members are either on their phones or talking to neighbors. Even worse are presentations where the audience falls asleep and loses focus.
But what we have to remember is that a presentation is not a speech. It’s for this reason that it’s important to learn how to create engaging presentations.
In this article, we’ll share eight tips on how to create, deliver, and engage your audience throughout a presentation.
So, let’s dive in!
1. Know Your Audience
The first step to keeping your audience engaged in a successful presentation is knowing who you are talking to. It would help if you took the time to research your audiences’ interests. If, for example, your presentation wants to inform investors, it’s essential to create a presentation highlighting important financial aspects of the investment.
For most presentations, you will have to segment your audience. Segmenting your audience involves knowing their professions, geographics, and demographics. Information about your audience will help you become more specific on what to present.
Knowing your audience also requires that you research similar events. Researching other speakers that have held presentations like yours, helps you discover the dos and don’ts of successful events.
2. Start with a Catchy Statement
Statements have a way of engaging an audience, but only when they are done right. Starting your presentation with a catchy statement will help your audience become more attentive and interactive.
If, for instance, you are going through a merger and acquisition, starting your presentation with an eye-catching chart will boost engagement. In the chart, you can include financial projections that would be of most interest to the prospects. By using this tactic, you drive their interest in knowing how you arrive at the figures.
Remember that the audiences’ decision to listen to your presentation is made during the first minute of the presentation. If you fail to catch your audiences’ attention during this time, it might not be easy to get it at any other point of your presentation.
3. Tell Stories to Make it Memorable
The power of storytelling will never get old. People are naturally drawn to stories. Stories are a great way of showing how things work.
Let’s say you are giving a presentation about the importance of creating powerful presentations. By sharing someone else’s journey, you keep your audience glued to your talk.
A narrative is also effective for creating anticipation of what will happen next. The use of metaphors is effective for building up connections to relevant key points. Storytelling helps to create a transition where every word you speak creates memorable outcomes.
4. Use the Power of Appealing Visuals
Appealing visuals are a great way to make your audience sit up and listen to you. Even the most complex topics can use visuals to deliver easy-to-understand information.
Think, for example, of topics like climate change that need long texts to explain. An image paired with text could be a great way to present such topics. In such circumstances, the use of infographics can help break down long texts.
Another alternative for appealing visuals would be the use of white space. White space avoids the monotony of long boring texts that are difficult to read. Better still, use data visualization to present statistics. For example, a presentation with comparison figures is more understandable when presented in graphs or charts.
When choosing your graphics, also remember to embrace the power of presentation software. Tools such as PowerPoint could make it easy for you to create and deliver outstanding presentations.
Also, consider the use of non-linear presentations like Prezi. Non-linear presentations allow you to show the relationship between topics without moving from slide to slide. With non-linear presentations, the audience can quickly see and choose a topic they want to be discussed.
Another application you might need is the premade templates. Templates contain customizable elements that allow you to create personalized presentations in the shortest time. Even better is how the templates are easily accessible and downloadable on the internet.
This Google Slides Theme can deliver up to five easy-to-follow processes making it convenient for your audience to understand your message. The templates also allow for the change in color, size, and context so you can create a more engaging presentation for your audience.
5. Poll Your Audience
Quizzes are a great way to keep an audience engaged with your presentations. By frequently asking questions, your audiences’ attention is easily drawn back to your presentation. Questions are also brain teasers that give your audience a break from speeches.
Polling your audience is also an excellent way of introducing an off the script topic. If, for example, you want to include short breaks in your presentations, the session after a Q&A would be the perfect place to change the schedule.
6. Share the Stage with Other Presenters
Everyone delivers presentations differently. While some are great at storytelling, others are excellent at describing graphics. It is for this reason that sharing your stage could help increase the value of your presentation and keep your audience engaged.
While the sharing of the stage mostly involves other presenters, it’s also important to consider your audiences. By involving audiences in demonstrations or other engaging aspects, you increase the attentiveness of other listeners. Just remember that for audience engagement to be effective, you must make prior arrangements with the volunteer.
7. Practice Your Presentation
Every detail from how you stand, pace, and talk will determine how engaged your audience will be. Audiences are engaged by presenters who expel confidence. And it’s only through practice that you can improve your composure.
Practice also improves your words’ structure. It’s also an excellent way of collecting genuine feedback. If you do not practice, you may never know whether you are talking too fast or confusing your audience.
Before a presentation, make sure you present in front of a mirror, friends, or colleagues. Always ask for feedback, so you know where to improve. The most important thing is also to make sure that your voice and pace demonstrate expertise. Make sure that your words are loud but slow enough to be understood by everyone.
8. Give a Powerful Ending
Having a strong call-to-action(CTA) will motivate people to take action. If, for example, you have been presenting to investors, this is the right time to convince them to take action. For this reason, make your CTA short, concise, and memorable.
If you are presenting an offer, make sure it’s something they can’t resist. Give a step by step process that will drive people to action. Also, use colors, fonts, and images that make your CTA stand out.
Nothing beats the effectiveness of an engaging presentation. An engaging presentation will make your audience learn and take action on things you say. The above tips will help you educate, inform, and engage your audience with memorable presentations.