Tips to Make your Presentations More Engaging
By Space Coast Daily // December 17, 2020
Planning a company presentation can be quite daunting and the idea of public speaking in front of a large group of people frequently terrifies people. Finding new and innovative ways to hold the attention of your audience is often challenging but you must try to engage your listeners as quickly as possible to avoid losing their attention.
Here are some tried-and-tested tips to make your next corporate event more stimulating and interactive, to hopefully engage your listeners better, for longer.
Make an interesting opening statement: Using an engaging opening statement is one of the best ways to instantly involve your audience and get their attention. It also allows you to gently ease into the main body of your speech and the key points you need to make. Try asking a question at the top of your show to really get your listeners thinking and involved – something that relates directly to them.
Remember your audio/visual cues are secondary to you: You and what you have to say are by far the most important components of any presentation so try to avoid using overly complex animations, video or audio files that might serve to distract your audience. Rather, look for ways to make these additions coordinate with what you’re saying to enhance your message.
For live broadcast events, consider using captioning: If you’re intending to broadcast your event live, think about using captioning to augment your message and make sure everyone fully understands the points you’re making. Captioning is essential for those with hearing difficulties but it will also further bolster the main message you’re trying to put across. Using systems like Verbit’s live captioning service can greatly enrich a presentation and helps ensure the greatest number of people understand what you’re saying.
Where possible, use humor: Injecting a little humor into your speech goes a long way to removing the stress of delivery and will also help set your audience at ease too. Making people laugh lifts your listeners, heightening their attention levels and making them far more receptive.
Don’t forget the all-important eye contact: There are few things more distracting than watching a presenter who fails to use eye contact with his audience. Yes, it can often be tempting to let your eyes drift away or not look directly at your listeners but you will only end up appearing confused or disinterested. Conversely, avoid just staring at one person and instead remember to look around the entire audience to keep their attention.
Tailor your language and try to use emotive words: Remember to tailor the language in your presentation to the age, knowledge and experience of your audience. There’s little point in using terms that your listeners might not understand so avoid using anything too technical. Also, look to replace hum-drum terms with words that grab attention and convey your story.
Try to relax and enjoy: While you might be feeling stressed inside, try not to show it outwardly. It’s also very useful to remember that none of your listeners want to see you fail so try to contain your emotions or sense of nervousness.
Audiences always react more positively to an assured speaker so, even if it goes against what you’re feeling inside, try to stay composed and level-headed. Believe it or not, as you do more presentations and become more self-assured, it’s quite likely you’ll come to enjoy the buzz of public speaking.