Presentations: Making Them Fun

 

How many presentations do you make and how many do you attend?   What makes a good presentation?   What makes it memorable?   How do you make presentations fun?

We attend many presentations and we may have to speak at many presentations.  The ones where the presenter reads the slide deck just don't seem to stick out as much as the ones where they told a story.   Telling the story connects the presenter to the audience and brings the emotional part to the conversation.  It is boring to just read your material, quote stats and point to graphs with lots of data.

Some of my past presentations included the standard PowerPoint deck.  I usually find limiting the number of slides is better than lots of slides.  Sometimes it feels best to skim certain slides quickly and to skip other slides altogether as you pick up the vibe from the audience.  On a couple of occasions, I dared to abandon the script altogether including the  slide deck!   That move was well received in both cases.

The reaction from the audience was positive.  They were more interactive and more interested in the story.  They asked lots of questions and shared their stories. This made these presentations more fun in the sense it was light, educational and not so dull.  It is challenging when providing a software demo as part of the presentation and my tip is to bring a story to share for each part of this kind of presentation.

With small audiences, I like to ask everyone to introduce themselves, share what they do and what they are looking for in the presentation.  This really helps to understand your audience to determine the areas of your presentation to spend more time on.  It also allows you to personalize it to the group.  You can call on some in the crowd when you reach an area that a specific person mentioned and listen to them share their experience.  I found the audience enjoys this personal touch and they tend to open up a bit more.

Going live on the Internet is the most fun part of the presentations I give.  It makes you really vulnerable sharing your personal social media channels with the audience.  When you go live you never know what will happen or what you will find which adds to the excitement!  This also provides real experiences and valuable take-aways for the audience.

What do you do to make your presentation fun?

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