How many times have you been in the middle of a presentation at work only to look around the room and find everyone is distracted and not giving you attention? Your first instinct is likely to feel frustrated and even angry, but it’s important to stop for a moment and think about what you could be doing differently.
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While you can’t stop people from getting distracted all the time, there are tips you can use that will help make your presentations more engaging and exciting, which will help keep the attention of those in the room.
Make the Presentation Interactive
Rather than think of your presentation as a monologue where you are doing all the talking, and everyone else is just listening, try to make the presentation as interactive as possible. Audience involvement does just that – get them involved and gets their attention. If they are being asked to participate then they will be focused on you, rather than their smart phone or notepad.
According to statistics, 91% of the audience listening to the presentation admit they find themselves daydreaming and 39% admit to actually falling asleep! When people feel as though they are being talked at, they automatically start to tune out. Once that happens, it’s hard to pull them back in. Instead give them a way to interact with you and with each other by answering questions, asking questions, and taking part in group discussions.
Use Visuals Throughout the Presentation
To help keep the attention of the attendees you need to mix things up during the presentation, this means mixing text with visuals. Adding stock photography to your slides can do a lot in terms of grabbing the eyes of the audience. Just make sure the images you are using are relevant and add to the content.
Keep the Presentation Short
There is nothing worse than listening to a presentation that seems to go on and on. After a certain point the audience is going to tune out just because of the information overload. If you have that much to discuss, it’s better to break it up into a few short presentations over a few days. Experts suggest keeping your presentations to 30 minutes or under, because once you go past this amount of time people will start to lose interest.
Practice Your Delivery
Delivery also counts for a great deal when it comes to presentations. The more natural, at-ease, and confident you seem, the more engaged your audience will be. Even if you know the material extremely well, if the delivery is poor then it’s not going to hit the mark. It’s a good idea to take a little time practicing your delivery. If possible, practice on friends or family members and ask them for honest feedback.
Create a Whole New Experience
Even if you’ve crashed and burned in the past when it comes to presentations, it doesn’t mean that has to be the case moving forward. These tips will help you to feel more confident and relaxed, and help you to find ways to engage and connect with your audience better.