Presentations come in all shapes and sizes. I’m sure you’ve witnessed presentations that are long, short, boring or exciting. No matter how you describe them, they’ve all served one purpose—to deliver facts and information.
While in school, students are often called upon to make presentations for various class projects. The ultimate goal is to present the information in an exciting way while making connections with the audience to ensure they will retain the information.
Cell phones, MP3 players, laptops and other mobile devices are making it increasingly difficult to keep the attention of your peers. To ensure your presentation impacts them, you’ve got to grab their attention—and hang onto it. Try some of these tips to add some pizzazz to your next presentation.
1. Keep it short
If you can, try and limit your presentation to 20 minutes or less. It can become challenging to keep people focused beyond that. If it must be longer than 20 minutes, encourage audience participation or consider breaking your audience into small groups for dialog or working sessions. This will help break up your presentation in smaller parts and make for a much more collaborative experience.
2. Keep it simple
Once you begin discovering all the various animation features that are available in most presentation software solutions, it can be tempting to use them all. Although these features may seem fun, they have the potential to be more of a distraction to your audience. Use only one or two of the simpler features to add drama and make sure that you aren’t substituting animation for substance and content.
3. Limit the text
Sometimes you may not even need text. As the axiom goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and if you include a great graphic let it stand on its own and speak rather than read words from the slide. However, if you do need some text, use no more than 2-3 bullets per slide. When there’s a lot of text on a slide, audience members tend to get overwhelmed and feel the need to read every tiny word. The more they read, the less they will listen to you.
4. Don’t read your slides
You probably never felt excited watching someone read a book for 20 minutes. That’s what it may feel like if you read your notecards or the text on your presentation slides word-for-word. Elaborate on the limited text you’ve written by providing additional details or examples that your audience otherwise would not know. And remember to smile and make eye contact with your audience throughout your presentation.
5. Know your audience
With the recent advances in technology, an increasing number of students own internet-enabled devices. According to a recent study by re:fuel, many college students are spending a considerable amount of their day multitasking with multiple devices.
Technology has evolved the way your audience enjoys receiving information and you should take note. Instead of looking at a PowerPoint presentation at the front of a classroom, allow each individual to view your presentation from their own computer screen at their desks. With online meeting tools like iMeet, you can make your presentation much more interactive.
Also, with a single click, easily switch from your presentation to streaming YouTube videos or documents you’d like to share. Even the students sitting all the way in the back will be able to see everything clearly with iMeet’s crystal clear HD-quality video.
With the right presentation skills and tools, you’ll be sure to win over your audience and earn that A in no time!