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Everything You Need to Know About Engaging Presentations (Part 1)

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Whether you’re presenting to an in-person audience, a virtual audience, or a hybrid audience, engaging your audience members and capturing their attention is always a priority. You need to be sure you have their attention and focus, and one of the best ways to do this is with a style known as conversational presenting.

Tips for Creating Engaging Presentations

If you’re responsible for conducting these presentations yourself, we know you want all of the top insider information for how to create the most effective and engaging presentations your audience will ever attend! That’s why we turned to a number of experts from industries of all kinds to hear what they’ve learned about creating great presentations.

Let’s get started!

Tip #1

“It’s been proven that messages with visuals are retained at a far higher rate than messages with just words. This is known as the image superiority effect, and studies show that integrating stunning graphics can boost information recall by up to 65 percent. Avoid utilizing tacky clip art or a stock image that is too generic. And don’t use any photographs that are watermarked or copyrighted that you find online! One huge and strong photo is preferable over multiple smaller images, similar to including one important topic in each presentation. The trick is to select photos or visuals that effectively communicate the idea you’re seeking to express.” – Tyson Stevens, Founder at EduRef, Website: https://www.eduref.net/ 

Tip #2

“Keep in mind that your slides are intended to help you deliver your message, not to replace it. Because your slides are slides, not Word pages, it’s important to keep things as basic as possible. Many presenters include far too much text on a slide and far too many graphics, leaving the audience confused and unsure of what they’re seeing. Also, don’t make your PowerPoint presentation a throwaway. If you want to give your audience a substantial takeaway, you should approach it as a whole separate document.” – Hassan Usmani, Tech Expert at YEELIGHT, https://www.us.yeelight.com

Tip #3

“Consider the audience and their prior knowledge. We could be talking to an empty room if we don’t present with the audience’s requirements in mind, no matter how interesting we believe we are. Consider what the audience may or may not know about the topic before deciding whether to offer full atrial fibrillation didactic for trainees or an anticoagulant update for cardiologists. Great presenters start by polling their audience with a question such as, “How many of you here are familiar with the results of the AFFIRM trial?” This allows you to make minor adjustments to match your audience’s needs.” – Daniel Carter, SEO Manager of Skuuudle, https://www.skuuudle.com/

Tip #4

“Practicing allows you to get more comfortable with both the subject and the delivery of that content. If possible, practice with a coworker and get comments to help you improve your material. Have you run out of time? Practice the introduction as well as any important points you wish to make. Before bringing out their cellphones to open Facebook, audiences assess whether your talk is worth listening to within the first five minutes.” – Tyler Martin, Founder and Certified Business Coach at ThinkTyler, https://thinktyler.com/

Tip #5

“Understanding the stage might help you anticipate and overcome learning obstacles. Consider the differences between these two scenarios: a talk of hyponatremia with a group of medical students at 4 p.m. in a dark room vs. a discussion on atrial fibrillation management principles at 11 a.m. in an auditorium. Both involve audience participation; however, an auditorium-based presentation necessitates pre-testing of your audio-visual equipment.” – Darsh Ray, CEO & Founder of Job Alert, https://jobalert.one

Tip #6

“Determine your goals. Start with the end in mind while determining your goals. What would your audience members know (knowledge), be able to accomplish (behavior), or have a fresh outlook on (attitude) if you imagined them at the end of your talk? The objectives will determine the information you offer and the learning activities. Three to five objectives are a fair rule of thumb for a one-hour presentation.” – Tanner Arnold, President & CEO, RevelationMachinery.com

Tip #7

“One of the most essential aspects of an engaging presentation that has eroded over the past 18 months is enthusiasm. As an audience, we love to see passion. As presenters, we feel really strange being passionate over Zoom. (And frankly, the concept of professionalism can sometimes kill that for in-person, as well.)

Never be afraid to help lead the audience’s reaction by showing them yours. Enthusiasm is infectious. And, by the way, it can’t be faked. Well, it can, but it’s not advisable – it’s incredibly obvious.

So the next time you’re presenting, ask yourself what gets me excited about this? What is positive about what I’m about to deliver? What is negative and needs to change?

We’re accustomed to believing that we need to be some other version of ourselves and that takes away from the authenticity that we’re all craving right now – especially in the online presentation space.” – Megan Hamilton, Ubu Skills, https://www.ubuskills.com/

Stay Tuned for More Engaging Presentation Tips

We had such an overwhelming response to this topic that we couldn’t fit all of the feedback into a single post. Stay tuned for part two where you’ll learn even more strategies for creating engaging presentations. 

 

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