You are given a task by your boss - to make a presentation. The question is, how to do it if you know the audience is difficult? They often reach for their phones and can't focus on what you're presenting.
The answer is diversity.
Use diverse presentation forms. Why? Because as humans, we are addicted to constantly new stimuli. Hence, the popularity of platforms like TikTok - always new things, short forms, and frequent changes.
In presentations, it's the same. You can't lead a long, monotonous monologue.
Divide your presentation into sections
The first tip is to divide the presentation into sections. Separate each one with some loose break. It can be a cartoon joke, meme, or a funny video that separates individual presentation threads. This way, you will not only soften the monotony but also make it easier to remember the information.
Use diverse forms
The second important tip is to use diverse forms to guide the audience through the entire narrative. Examples include stories, case studies, anecdotes, surprising theses, rhetorical questions, multimedia, interestingly presented numbers, non-trivial visualizations, riddles, quizzes, demonstrations of what you're talking about, involving the audience in discussions, and presenting controversial theses that you will then refute with the audience.
Stories are a great way to introduce a presentation. The story should be short and concrete, but above all, it should be related to the presentation topic. If you want to develop this topic, read about storytelling.
A case study is a description of a situation in which the use of certain solutions had a positive effect. This is an excellent way to show how your company can help solve the audience's problems.
Anecdotes are funny stories taken from life that can also bring humor to the presentation. It is important that anecdotes are related to the presentation topic and do not obscure its essence.
Surprising theses are a form in which you present controversial theses or facts that are not necessarily widely known. This way, you arouse curiosity and encourage the audience to actively listen and ask questions.
Rhetorical questions are ones to which you do not expect a specific answer but rather serve to emphasize a point or stimulate reflection among the audience. A well-posed rhetorical question can encourage deeper reflection and effectively engage the audience.
Multimedia is a very important element of any presentation. Well-chosen photos, videos, graphs, and animations can significantly enrich the presentation's content and make it easier to assimilate information. It is important that they are readable and aesthetically executed.
Numbers and statistics are an important element of many presentations, but they can often be difficult to grasp. Remember to show large, abstract numbers in a broader context - compared to things that the audience deals with on a daily basis.
Visualizations are also an important element of presentations, but they are often clichéd and uninteresting. A well-chosen visualization can help to better assimilate information and enrich the presentation. Remember to use visuals that are clear and aesthetically pleasing.
Riddles are a great way to engage with your audience. This form of interaction immediately sparks interest because everyone wants to see if their answer is correct. Remember, you don't have to answer riddles right away. You can delay your response and thus prolong the period of focused attention from your audience.
Quizzes are another way to engage with your audience. They can be useful to test how well your audience has absorbed the information and to pique their interest in the rest of your presentation.
Demonstrations are a great way to show how a product or solution works. It's ideal if your audience can see, touch, and test the item being discussed. Seeing something on slides is one thing. But using, operating, and testing it firsthand is a completely different level of immersion in the subject matter.
Engaging your audience in discussion
Engaging your audience in discussion is a good way to interact and engage with them. This allows you to get their feedback and enrich your presentation with new perspectives. It can help to present controversial theses. The more vivid the beginning of the debate, the more polarized the positions of the audience will be, and the stronger their engagement in the ongoing discussion.
To effectively engage your audience, your presentations should be diverse in form. The trick is that in this diversity, coherence must still be maintained. Yes, good presentations are diverse and cohesive presentations. It may sound like a contradiction, but what it means is that your presentation should include a variety of ways to engage your audience, but the narrative and message should be consistent. Just like the color palette and fonts on your slides.