We all know the feeling of having the distinct misfortune of landing in the audience of a mind-numbingly boring presenter. Now, this is not to be confused with boring SUBJECTS. There are those too. But what is at issue here are speakers who are possessed of unique attributes that get the people in the seats sawing Z’s from the get-go.
Don’t be that guy (or gal). Here are a few tips on ways that you can zip up your presentation to make it effective, engaging and accurately convey to the audience why it’s important they be there.
- Connect with your Audience:
No presentation should be devoid of emotion, no matter how cerebral the topic or the audience. Consider opening with an anecdote or personal story, or including some other personally-relatable conversational tool to bridge that emotional gap. It will pay off.
- Don’t Read From Slides
PowerPoint is great, but don’t expect it will do your job for you, and don’t confuse it with a crutch. Don’t just read your slides; your audience can read them from their seats. Use slides to reinforce your message and outline your data points.
- Don’t Use Complicated Graphics
A common practice in brainstorming graphic ideas is to have a group put out three ideas: And then strike through all three. Those are probably the three ideas that will occur to most people, and to stand out, individuality is a must. Apply this concept with your graphics in presentations: To make your presentation stand out from the crowd, don’t go for the obvious images. Push for more creativity and break through those cliches.
Also, be sure to include simple graphics that highlight the important data points, use a single color background, and use large, simple fonts.
- Don’t Speak in Jargon
Even if you think your audience is comprised of people in similar fields of expertise as you, it’s still a good idea to ixnay on the argonjay. Ooops, did we just break a rule? Cut out the jargon and you will avoid alienating certain people who may be thrown off by an unfamiliar term or word and end up missing an important piece of information!
- Don’t Go Over Your Allotted Time
Presentations that are too long often offer more information than the audience wants to know. A great presentation goes by quickly, a bad one seems like it will never end.
Keep this in mind: People have a presentation tolerance of 30 to 40 minutes. If you go over that, they will get bored and won’t pay attention. The law of diminishing returns applies here!