When you are in charge of delivering presentations to clients (or potential clients), you want to make sure they are interested and engaged with what you are saying. Showing up with a stack of charts and graphs and a boring PowerPoint might give them the information they need, but chances are it’s not going to get them enthusiastic and excited about what you have to offer. And when they aren’t excited, they probably aren’t going to buy.
So, how do you make your presentations more interesting, even when the subject matter might not be the most scintillating? It’s as simple as A-B-C. If you keep these three points in mind, your clients will actually look forward to your presentations — and you’ll bring in more sales.
What keeps an audience engaged? Usually, it’s the unexpected. When your audience comes into the conference room expecting the same old, same old, and that’s what you deliver, it’s no wonder your presentations fall flat. But when they come in expecting one thing and get something else entirely? Well, that changes their perspective.
That’s where animation comes in. While adding unexpected elements to your presentation, such as popular memes, music, celebrity images, etc., can be amusing, those elements don’t always present your information in a compelling yet professional way. Using an animation maker to create short videos explaining key points, though, can capture attention in a positive way.
Try explaining a new concept or initiative using a whiteboard animation, for example, or animate your charts and graphs to highlight specific information. The idea is to capture attention by simplifying info into digestible points in a format that most everyone enjoys, rather than slide after slide of bullets.
When every single slide or image in your presentation looks exactly the same, not only does that bore your audience to death, but how will they know which information is the most important and what the key takeaways are? Even if your subject isn’t necessarily the most interesting, you don’t need to highlight its “boringness” with a lackluster presentation.
Break it up. Vary the slide design. This doesn’t mean use a different design or colors and fonts on every slide. Instead, vary the layout of your projections throughout the presentation. Or try developing your presentation around a theme, working in elements from that theme such as images, quotes, or language, to keep the presentation interesting. When you avoid doing the same thing that’s always been done, and offer a presentation with a twist, you have a better chance of getting and keeping attention.
Finally, curiosity is an important part of an interesting presentation, as in, you need to pique your audience’s curiosity and satisfy it. Give them an incentive to pay attention all the way to the end. Some of the ways you can do this are:
- Ask a question at the beginning of the presentation or make an outrageous statement that you back up through the presentation. Then circle back around at the end to supply an answer or spark a discussion.
- Include “Easter eggs” throughout the presentation. Pixar is famous for adding elements of other films into every new release (a character represented as a child’s toy, for example) that they call Easter eggs, which fans love to look for. Try adding something into your presentation and giving your audience something to look for in the projections.
- Hit the highlights. Presentation projections should never be treated as a teleprompter. Each slide should have no more than a few words (six is the max, according to some) and should focus on a highlight. Choose the most startling fact that you are trying to convey and use that on the slide. This will spark more curiosity than a complex paragraph that you’re just reading.
Never Be Boring
A boring presentation is as bad for you as it is for your audience. You know when you aren’t keeping their attention, and it can be frustrating and embarrassing. When you use some of these suggestions, though, while you might not get the standing ovation of your dreams, you won’t put your clients to sleep or have them showing you the door.
Jackie Roberson is a content coordinator and contributor who creates quality articles for topics like technology, home life, and education. She studied business management and is continually building positive relationships with other publishers and the Internet community.