The PowerPoint is a staple of the corporate workplace, enabling workers to better engage their audience and present their data in a compelling, aesthetically pleasing manner. However, the ubiquity of the PowerPoint also means that the PowerPoint has lost a bit of its charm. When you are regularly staring at slide decks for a large portion of your work week, the last thing someone wants to do is have another PowerPoint to stare at during a presentation.
And let’s face it: at best, your PowerPoint is outlining your main argument as you go into more detail through your speech. At worst, your PowerPoint is a crutch that you rely on too heavily, leading to a boring, unmemorable experience for your audience.
How can you improve your presentations? By ditching the PowerPoint, of course. While it may seem counterintuitive, by removing the PowerPoint from your presentation strategy, you are forced to put more focus on the meat of your presentation, setting you up to more successful engage your audience and create a lasting impact with your message.
Let Go of Your Slide-Reading Dependency
Even the best of us can find ourselves relying too heavily on our slides when giving a presentation. Let go of your slide-reading dependency by ditching the slides altogether. According to public speaking coach Mary Rezek, you have 30 seconds to engage your audience. Start with a salient anecdote or a brief, engaging video, rather than letting your slides lead the way. Once your audience is hooked, keep them on the line with the quality of the content of your presentation.
The average office is akin to a sensory deprivation chamber. Drab color schemes, fluorescent lighting and the mindless hum of office machinery do little to stimulate the senses and cause for an invigorating work day. Give the audience a tangible product model or prototype rather than describing the new product on a slide. Give them something to hold and let the audience engage with your presentation in a physical manner.
Create a Soundtrack
We have deep emotional ties to music, much more so than the ties we have to words. Make your presentation meaningful by pairing it with a moving, relevant soundtrack.
Use a Whiteboard
Feeling creative? Then illustrate your points on the fly on a tried-and-true whiteboard. Because you are actively creating the graphic in front of the audience, it is a more engaging visual process than simply projecting a slide with the intended visual depicted.
Poll the Audience
Audience interaction is a great way to ensure that your stays engaged (and awake). Ask for relevant anecdotes from the audience, or ask their opinion on an idea.
When it comes to presentations, different is good. Don’t be afraid to cast your PowerPoint aside and try something new. After a seemingly endless array of bland slide decks, your presentation is sure to be a breath of fresh air to your audience, resulting in a memorable presentation that has a lasting result on your crowd.