“Sorry. Just a moment. the projector won’t turn on.
“Okay, that’s it.
“Oh, woops! That’s slide number 3. Let me just go back to the start.
“Right. Umm, okay. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for coming to my, uhh, my presentation this morning.
“I want to talk about, uhh, our new marketing plan……..
“Oh, no. What’s wrong with this. I think the battery’s died. How do I go to slide 2?………..
“Okay, that’s it. So, here’s the agenda. First, I will talk about….
How many people in the audience are still awake?
Have you ever attended a presentation like this? I bet you have.
Don’t be this person!
Don’t be the presenter who wastes everyone’s time and then finally settles in to reading their slides to the audience.
Here are 3 simple tweaks you can do to supercharge your presentation and engage your audience.
1. Just talk
A mistake many presenters make is to take a formal approach.
Formality can kill your presentation.
You’ve got your slides. You’ve written out and memorized your script. You stand in front of the audience and begin reciting your lines. And you sound…
…like a robot.
With your presentation now over you wonder why the reception was so bad.
Probably because you spoke to people like you were visiting from another planet.
The trick to get your audience interested and build rapport with them is to talk like a normal person.
Tweak your presentation by memorizing the key themes rather than memorizing a script. When you can talk naturally about your subject matter (verses reciting lines) your audience will be engaged.
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2. Ask questions
You know when your friend is talking, talking, talking? Won’t let you get a word in edgeways?
How do you feel?
It starts to feel like a lecture, right? You’re there just to humor the speaker by nodding and occasionally make encouraging “tell me more” sounds.
It can start to feel like this for the audience during a presentation, especially as time drags on.
Engage your audience by asking questions throughout your talk.
The tone of a question sparks people’s attention and the presentation naturally becomes more interactive and engaging.
3. Whiteboard it
Slides can be good to add an impact element to your presentation.
But, they can be time consuming to create. Without the benefit of a lot of time you will often end up with a deck filled with a bunch of bullet points which closely resembles a report. And your audience is not going to appreciate it when you read your bullet points to them (except those people who are in need of the sleep).
Here’s a trick to reduce your anxiety, save time, and make you presentation more engaging:
Use a whiteboard instead of slides.
You’ll make your presentation more engaging because the audience will follow more closely as you speak and write on the board.
You’ll save time because there are no slides to create.
You’ll reduce your anxiety because writing on the board means you’re less “out there”.
What do you think?
Let’s chat in the comments below.