So you spent countless days and nights trying to make the perfect presentation, and on the big day, nobody seemed to be interested even though your presentation was great?
One of the main reasons why some speakers win hearts and minds both is because when they present, they interact. These speakers make the audience feel as if they are a part of the presentation, which keeps them focused and engaged throughout.
Key Tips to Interact While You Present
1. Ask Rhetorical Questions
Rhetorical Questions are asked not to receive an answer but to make a point clear. Questions like, “Well, this data shows a positive trend, doesn’t it?” or “It is absolutely clear from the given data that the trend is negative, isn’t it?”
When you ask a rhetorical question, it makes people think that you are interacting and engaging with them, keeping them on track with your presentation.
Important Tip: Do not ask too many rhetorical questions; they might become overwhelming after a point.
2. Maintain Eye Contact
Whenever you’re presenting, always remember to maintain eye contact with your audience. It will convert your talk into a meaningful conversation and help create a connection with the listeners. Further, you can convey your message to the audience on a personal level, giving them a sense of involvement by making proper eye contact.
3. When in Rome, Do as the Romans
Before you go out to present anything, do your research. Get well-acquainted with the audience that you would be presenting to. If they are speaking formally, try to be formal. If they are interacting informally, you could loosen up a bit. This would not only make them feel like you are one of them but would also help you interact with them better.
4. Demonstrate through Props
If you are demonstrating a product during a presentation, do it using a prop. Verbal description won’t be that impactful; however, the use of prop will make the audience understand your message easily. It will also generate the audience’s attention in your presentation as well as the product.
In a 2009 TED Talk, Bill Gates beautifully used the prop (i.e., a jar) while making a passionate plea for malaria relief during his presentation. Take a look!
5. Share the Stage with the Audience
Break down the wall between you and the audience by inviting them to share the stage with you. For instance, you can ask someone from the audience to help you in a demo, narrate a story, introduce your product, or present the next part of the presentation. Indeed, it will be a memorable experience for them.
6. Engage them through Videos
Embedding videos in your presentation will be a great option to appeal to both the auditory and visual systems of the brain. Videos help you put a large amount of information across in a relatively shorter time and persuade the audience to buy your product. Moreover, videos break the monotony and reconnect the audience with your content.
7. Conduct a Poll
Live polls encourage the audience to think about the questions and their answers, thereby regaining their attention. Further, polls allow you to engage the audience without switching between applications or screens and solicit their response in real-time.
Some Quick Tips
- Explain the complex concept through a creatively-designed template.
- Narrate a story to make your points clear.
- Ask a quiz and solicit the answer from the audience through an audience-response system.
- Insert a visual puzzle and ask your audience to solve it.
- Let the audience brainstorm and choose the right answer to the multiple-choice question.
- Use a countdown or a numbered list.
- Ask them to fill in the blank.
The attention span of the audience has reduced considerably, and to keep them glued with your presentation, it is important to use the right “hooks.” Add something that makes the audience ponder deeply and encourage them to participate in your talk. Your entire presentation will go in vain if it can’t captivate the listeners. So, think creatively and choose what seems to be fit to engage the audience.
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