How bad would you feel if you notice that almost all your audience doze off few minutes after you started your presentation? I know you have had such experience. Everyone has had the experience of sitting through a bad presentation or ineffective speech delivery. Your audience doze off because the lights of your presentation went down. May be the audience is faced with slides filled with text, the speaker begins by reading each slide, and the room fills with the sounds of snoring. I have some tips to help you present an engaging and interactive presentation and how to design interactive and engaging presentation slides.
Here are some of the sub topics in this tutorial article:
- How To Structure Your Presentation Slides
- How To Prepare Aesthetically Pleasing Slides
- How To Make Your Presentation Memorable
- How to Overcome Tension While Presenting On Stage
- Ways To Turn a Boring Topic Into An Engaging Presentation
How To Structure Your Presentation Slides
1. Always Design An Appealing Cover Slide
Never overlook the cover of your presentation slide because it plays an important role in setting the tone and style for your whole presentation. Always use a captivating graphic on your cover slide to catch your audience’s attention.
2. Always Use A Maximum Of Ten Slides
A maximum of 10 slides should be given in 20 minutes, and the size of the text on each slide should be no less than 30 point. This helps ensure that the information provided on each slide is necessary; it also forces you to explain your slides.
3. Always Design A Unique Template
There are some steps in designing professional templates. Consider designing your own template by following some of the steps given on various websites, or purchase a template. This will allow you to create the theme that is best suited to your presentation. Audiences have seen the common
PowerPoint templates time and time again, so give them something different to look at. The extra effort that you take in creating something unique will pay off in helping to maintain audience attention.
4. Ensure That Your Content Is Correct
Never be in a hurry while preparing the content of your presentation slides. Edit and proofread your slides to make sure that the spelling and grammar is perfect. No one wants to look at a slide that has a spelling mistake on it, and no one will trust the opinion of someone whose presentation is riddled with errors.
5. Use Slides To Clarify Points And Ensure That Your Presentation Flows From Slide To Slide
Slides should not carry the entire message. They are there to reinforce your message. You should also avoid reading the slides directly (line by line). Ensure that the ideas in your presentation transits smoothly. Smooth transitions can help your presentation to flow easily from one idea to the next and from one slide to the next.
You do not necessarily have to use fancy style transitions, but you can use verbal clues to tell your audience what is coming up on the next slide—and why they need to know.
6. Summarize Your Points At last
Prepare your audience for what is coming, and then use the body of your presentation to tell them your three major points. Use your last slide to summarize your presentation and remind the audience about key points they might have already forgotten.
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How To Prepare Aesthetically Pleasing Slides
1. Do Not Put Too Much Information In One Slide
Do not include too much text. Try to keep your slides clutter-free and full of blank space. A good rule of thumb is 30–40 words per slide.
2. Always Be Concise
It has been proven that the average human attention span is eight seconds, which is less than the attention span of a goldfish (nine seconds)! You need to be clear and get your point across quickly before your audience zones out. Make sure that the text on your slides is meaningful to your presentation.
3. Learn To Use The Right Colour At The Right Time
Different colors evoke different emotions. For example, red is associated with passion and urgency, blue is calming and evokes tranquility, orange conveys energy and warmth, and green is associated with nature and the environment, while black is heavy and formal.
Warm colors, such as red and orange, can be used to highlight, while cooler colors can be used in the background. You should also make sure that the colors complement each other.
For the audience to be able to see the text, it must contrast with the background color. For example, use a dark green background with white text or a light blue background with black text. Accent colors are used for emphasis and should be used sparingly. No matter what color combination you choose for your presentation, make sure that you use it consistently.
4. Use Appropriate Fonts And Sizes
Serif fonts, such as Times New Roman and Garamond, are easy to read at smaller sizes, but the serifs are often lost on a large screen. Sans-serif fonts, such as Arial and Franklin Gothic, work well for presentations. Consider using unusual fonts (within reason) to keep the audience’s interest. Just be sure that the font does not make your text difficult to read. Use nothing smaller than a 30-point font size.
Keep in mind that, if you use a smaller font and the audience can see your slide, you will quickly be out of sync with them because they can read faster than you can talk.
5. Always Use High-Quality And Illustrative Images
Always use images the audience may not have seen before by searching for fresh new photos on such sites as Unsplash and Pixabay. Remember that using no photo or graphic is better than using a bad one. Avoid using blurry pictures, overly familiar clip art, or eye-roll-inducing stock photos.
See: How To Work With Smartart Elements And Master Slide Manipulation In Ms-Powerpoint 2016
How To Make Your Presentation Memorable
1. First Understand Your Audience
When you know the background of your audience—in other words, what they know and what they need to know—you can structure your presentation to meet these needs. In turn, the audience will be more interested in what you have to say.
2. Involve The Audience
Make sure your audience contribute to your presentation. The easiest way to involve your audience is to ask questions. However, no one wants to ask a question and have no one raise their hand to answer. Try asking general questions, such as “How many people watch videos on YouTube?” Involving the audience helps you connect with them.
3. Make Your Presentation Lively By Including Stories
Audience remember stories easily; listeners tend to experience the story as it is being told. A good story will also elicit an emotional response in listeners and motivate them to act. Make sure that the story fits the context of your presentation and is relevant to the audience.
4. Try To Be Passionate About Your Presentation Topic
No matter what your presentation topic is, you should be able to speak passionately about your topic. If you speak about what you love and know well, your passion will encourage the audience to tune into your presentation.
How to Overcome Tension While Presenting On Stage
1. Practice Regularly
Rehearse your presentation slides before the day of the presentation. Try to figure out your weakness during the rehearsal and always find always find a way to overcome them. If you know your material, you are less likely to read slides and more likely to look at the audience. You will also feel more confident.
Athletes and performers know that the key to a great performance is to pump themselves up during the pre-game or pre-show warm-up. You need to pump yourself up too. You can run in place, do some stretches, or practice one more time—do what you have to do to get ready.
2. Take Some Calming Breaths, Smile And Maintain Eye Contact
Take a deep breath before you begin presenting. This may help calm your nerves. Never turn your back on your audience. Another good hint is to stand to the left of the screen. In this way, your audience can look at you and sweep their eyes over the screen.
3. Always Speak With Enthusiasm
Everyone enjoys listening to an enthusiastic speaker. If you speak animatedly, your audience will be inclined to pay attention to you.
4. Turn Your Presentation Into An Interactive Conversation
Depending on the size of the crowd, there are also a couple of tricks you can use to make your delivery more conversational and more engaging. If you’re speaking to a packed auditorium, make use of rhetorical questions. Ask your audience to respond to yes or no questions with a show of hands. In smaller meetings and more intimate crowds, you can go a step further by directly asking an audience member to answer a question.
When you turn your presentation into a conversation instead of a monologue, your audience will be more invested and engaged in what you have to say—because they will get to have a say themselves.
5. Make Your Presentation Short
Speak less than the time allotted. When you begin, say, “I know I have 30 minutes. I will only talk for 15, and then let’s discuss what I’ve said.” Your audience will think to themselves, “OK, I can listen for 15 minutes.” Plus, they will be happy not to have to listen as long as they expected.
Ways To Turn a Boring Topic Into An Engaging Presentation
Most people complain that their subjects are boring, and other people have more interesting topics. Whether they are presenting about Marketing, Economics, Biotechnology, Big Data, Quality Assurance, Deep Learning Algorithms, or Sales, they always point outside to other fields and departments and say that others have more interesting topics.
But, instead of blaming your subject for being boring, you can start to look for ways to stir your audiences’ interest and awaken their minds.
Here are some ways to help you win your audience interest:
1. Tell Them Why They Should Listen Your Topic
How you start your presentation will determine if people listen to you or not. Two of the big questions your audience members have when they are in the room with you is “Why am I here?” “Why is this is important to me?”
If you don’t quickly tell them why they should care about the topic; then the audience will focus on other items they deem more important.
2. Tell the Story Behind the Data
Do you remember all the details of last quarter’s fiscal report? What about the stories your parents read to you as a child?
Your favourite children’s books were probably a lot simpler than your annual sales figures, but the fact remains that a compelling narrative can stick with you for years. In the context of movies and TV shows, stories give people a reason to stay tuned—in the context of business presentations, stories get your audience invested in your content.
Bring numbers to life by providing human examples that correspond with each data point. Structure your presentation in a dramatic arc—give it a clear beginning, middle, and end.
When you present information as a story rather than a list of facts and figures, your audience will better understand the key parts of your message—and they will remember more of what you had to say.
3. Use The “Silence” Strategy Effectively
Pause periodically. Silence not only gives your audience a chance to digest your information—it also gives them permission to participate. When you pause, you non-verbally tell your audience that they can interrupt you. Your pause makes people feel comfortable—that you are encouraging them to jump in and speak.
If you talk nonstop, you will never engage your audience. Don’t keep throwing more and more words without giving your audience the chance to catch each sentence.
4. Emphasize Your Key Words
If you speak in the same voice tone throughout the entire presentation, no one knows what is really important. Make it obvious to your audience what they really need to pay attention to.
Use numbers, and emphasize them. A person can pay attention better when you say,
There are three strategies to solve this situation:
Every time you say a number, it reengages your audiences’ attention and helps their brains to listen. Remind your audience of the benefits of what you just told them.
Number 1 is…
Number 2 is…
Number 3 is…
5. Always Thank The Audience For Listening
To conclude your presentation and to cue your audience that your presentation is finished, you can thank them for listening and participating. People appreciate being appreciated. Remember that you can also include a final slide that thanks the audience and provides your contact information.
Try out all these tips while preparing for presentation and when giving presentation or speech. This will help you present an engaging and interactive presentation.
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Labels: Microsoft PowerPoint