How long do you stay focused in a presentation before you start scrolling through your IG feed, “discreetly” sending texts or daydreaming? Is it 20 minutes? 15 minutes? Less? If you’ve got a presentation coming up, then you need these 3 surprisingly simple presentation tips that will help you make an impact.
According to the scientist, John Medina, with moderately interesting content, during a presentation, your audience’s attention will drop to almost zero, after just 10 minutes! And since everyone’s attention span is decreasing, this doesn’t bode well for your next presentation.
To help you beat the 10-minute attention crash, here are 3 surprisingly simple tips for delivering high impact presentations, that will keep your audience listening till the last second.
1. Start with an icebreaker
Everyone arrives at a presentation in a different state of mind. Some people might have come from an exhausting meeting, a long call or be having a hectic and stressful day. While others might be having an atypically slow day, putting them in a completely different headspace. Either way, it’s beneficial to get everyone onto the same page and in the right frame of mind to focus on the presentation. A great way to do this is with an icebreaker.
2. Tell a story
We all love a good book or a great film, but what is it about them that keeps us gripped and why do we while away hours on a binge fest?
The answer is stories.
Research has found that our brains relate best to the characters in a story and we focus on the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist of each story. This holds true regardless of the format that the story is told in. Whether it’s through words, gestures or drawings – we get hooked!
Using storytelling in your presentations is, therefore, a great way to pique people’s interest and keep them engaged. Not only is storytelling a great way to start your presentation, but it’s also a smart way to finish. This is because people are most likely to remember the first and last things you say. For this reason, delivering the key message you want people to remember and take away from your presentation in a story format is definitely a good move.
3. Get them involved
No one likes to be talked at and presentations are no different. When it comes to engaging presentations, the more you can involve your audience the better.
Here are a couple of great ways to involve your audience in your next presentation:
While there might not be time to have an open debate, a few carefully selected questions will keep people mentally active and engaged with what you have to say. What’s more, since people also tend to remember how they felt, asking questions where the correct answer will lead to surprise, shock and awe, will ensure your presentation is truly memorable!
Take a live poll:
Everyone has an opinion and a live poll lets your audience share theirs. If you’re struggling with content or for a way to increase engagement in a presentation, then a simple live poll might be the answer. Especially if you share the results in real time. Your audience will definitely be interested in the results of the poll since it’s about them.
BONUS TIP: USE VIDEO
As of 2018, the total number of active youtube users was 1.9 billion, and there were 5 million videos being watched every day. That’s a lot of video watching!
Whether it’s cute puppies, hilarious accidents, or ahem something more educational, we seriously love video.
And there’s no doubt that video is powerful. Videos can tap into people’s emotions, and since “ people will remember how you made them feel” as the oh so true quote by Maya Angelou states, reaching people on an emotional level will give any presentation you deliver more impact and make it instantly more memorable.
And the best part, if giving presentations isn’t your bag, then using these three simple presentation tips means your audience will never know as they’ll be too busy thinking of their answers to your questions, watching the videos and feeling absorbed in the amazing story you just told. In short, they’ll be fully engaged and blown away.