How To Give Your Audience An Immersive Experience
Today we have a guest blogger, Rebecca Josie who shares tips on how to keep presentations interesting. This is especially important in the Covid-19 pandemic where virtual presentations are on the rise.
Speaking in front of a crowd (physical or remote) is scary – so scary that there’s even a phobia for it. According to Psycom, the fear of public speaking is called glossophobia, and is believed to affect up to 75% of the population. The effects of this phobia can range from slight nervousness to full-on panic. Thankfully, there are some measures you can take to tone down that fear. One of these is making sure you’re prepared and that your presentation is sufficiently engaging. This gives you the extra boost of confidence that you need. So, here are four tips to help keep your audience hooked: 1. Ensure your slides are actually presentable
The basics like ‘Don’t overcrowd your slide’ and ‘Don’t choose fonts that are hard to read’ apply, but to really up your game, you need to present data in an interesting way. In one of our podcasts, Dr. Stephanie Evergreen talks about data visualisation, which is any graphical representation for any given pool of data.
Text and images are great on slideshows, but to really wow your audience, present them with dynamic charts or interactive maps that convey data more effectively. Presenting your data in such a visually appealing way is sure to engage your audience. 2. Get comfortable
On the day of your presentation, you might feel some nervousness. This is normal, but remember that you need to be relaxed to present your topic effectively. It helps to take a few minutes to mentally prepare yourself. Pain Free Working enumerates a few breathing exercises you can try to relieve stress and release tension in preparation for your presentation.
Simply breathing deeply should do the trick, but you can also try the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique, where you breathe in, hold, then release forcefully for four, seven, and eight seconds, respectively. When you’ve got all the jitters out, you’ll find it easier to connect with your audience and have a much better stage (or video call/vritual) presence. 3. Make it interactive
Getting your audience involved is a simple way to keep them engaged. We recommend that you do this in the beginning, then intersperse more activities throughout your presentation. Ryan McLean lists ten icebreakers you can try. You could try asking a question and getting people who agree to raise their hands, or you could ask everyone in the audience to complete a simple task. That way, they’re focused on you from the get-go. 4. Be funny
Humour is always a good idea for presentations. And usually, the more serious the setting, the stronger the effect. Jokes or funny anecdotes are a great way to "reset" your audience's interest, so try adding humour in after a long data-driven speech. But, of course, don’t overdo it! And those are four tips to make your presentation more engaging. As long as you practice and make sure everything’s in order, you’ll do great. If you need some more help, we’ve got you covered! Here at the Ann-Murray Brown, we offer workshops and consultations, including one on storytelling. That’s sure to improve your presentation skills, so check it out.