We’ve all attended seminars where the speaker is remembered only because he was so dull, and half the audience actually nodded off!
Well, no more… Here’s how to give your presentation more impact, and keep your audience interested.
We've taken the opportunity to put together the Top 5 tips on ensuring impact in your presentation. The list is in no particular order and is by no means exhaustive, but we're sure it'll provide you with an array of ideas on how to make sure that your presentation really does get your audience to sit up and listen.
So now we have your attention, let's show you how to return the favour...
#1 - The Opening Gambit
When attention grabbing, the first words you say are crucial. Think about your audience and what they are looking to get out of your presentation - then you can decide what opening line is most likely to get them listening.
A quote can be a great way to illustrate a point effectively and quickly (however if used, make sure it's relevant and interesting!).
#2 - The Tag Team
A really tricky one to pull off but if done well, the two man presentation is fantastic (think Morecombe and Wise or the Two Ronnies).
However this comes with a huge health warning! When done badly, this approach is not only ineffective, it runs the risk of being plain embarrassing (think Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox).
That said, using two people can increase attentiveness levels by varying the voice and presentation speed. Our recommendation is if you do work in a team, practice, practice & practice.
#3 - Q&A
This may surprise you but the Q & A part of presentations is often the best bit. This is because they are interactive and are genuinely answering your audience's questions.
But they can also slow your flow if timed poorly. Plan when to use questions and set your stall out from the beginning. If your audience know they can ask at specific times they'll be ready. Some people have been known to plant questions, others have used an FAQ slide to make the Q & A more controlled - but go with what makes you comfortable.
#4 - Key Message Delivery - The Rule Of Three
We've waxed lyrical about the Rule of Three in past editions of 20-20. This simple approach ensures that your key message is being heard...and more importantly, lodged into the mind of the audience.
To make sure your audience takes your key messages away with them you need to mention highlight them three separate times throughout the presentation. We'd recommend at the beginning, somewhere in the middle and then at the end.
#5 - Thank You and Goodnight!
To make a lasting impact on your audience you need to finish on a high. More often that not the final slide saying "Any questions?" is a waste - finish with something memorable and relevant.
If you've started with a quote or relevant fact, it can be very powerful to revisit this as your conclusion, essentially taking your audience on a complete journey (and thus re-emphasising your point).
Well there we go, that's our Top 5 tips for impactful presentations. When you come to write your next presentation or update an old one - revisit this newsletter to see just how you can use these tips to keep your audience on their toes.
Reproduced and adapted with kind permission of Simon Morton at EyefulPresentations.co.uk, in July 2007. For further details contact firstname.lastname@example.org