Business Tips

How To Give A Gripping Presentation

Nobody wants to sit through a boring presentation. By taking steps to make your presentation more engaging, you can be more sure of leaving a lasting impact – which could ultimately help you to achieve your presentation’s goals, whether it be winning over investors or educating staff. Below are just a few of the different ways to make a presentation gripping. 

Hook them with your opening

If the opening of your presentation is dull, you’ll lose your audience straight away. Find a way to grab people straight away. A simple way to do this is to open with a question – this could be a thought-provoking question that you plan to answer throughout your presentation or a simple question that you immediately answer with a shocking answer. Either way you will pull people in. Shocking stats, breathtaking images or videos can also be used to provide a strong start. 

Tell a clear story

Telling a story throughout your presentation can give your presentation a clear direction that can keep viewers hooked and is another popular trick used by seasoned speakers. The narrative you tell depends on the purpose of your presentation. For example, if you’re trying to talk around investors, you could tell the story of how you came up with your business idea and then what you plan to do in the future. Just make sure the story doesn’t get in the way of your overall message.

Use less text and more visuals in slides

Text-heavy slides can be a major turnoff. Avoid walls of text and instead stick to simple bullet points that simply serve to summarise information. Alternatively, use images and graphs that supplement what you are saying – most of us are more engaged with interesting images than we are by text.

Scrap the notes

If you’re reading from notes all the time, you’re not making eye contact with your audience. This will make your audience feel like you’re not talking to them but at them. Experts like Jasdeep Singh recommend getting rid of the notes or at least using much fewer notes. This does mean that you have to rehearse and memorise what you’re going to say, however it can also inspire you to look at your audience and make what you’re saying feel more natural.  

Don’t stay still

A lot of speakers stay in one place as they speak. However, it’s much more engaging if you’re moving around and using the podium as a stage. That doesn’t mean you should awkwardly pace around, however you can use movement as a way to match the energy and intent.

This could include moving closer to the screen or wall where your slides are projected to point out information, or moving closer to the audience when you want to ask them questions or talk directly to them. This post by Cheryl Brown delves more into how to use movement while presenting.

Make it interactive

Another way to make your presentation more gripping is to make it interactive. This could include asking questions or even handing out items to interact with throughout the presentation (such as products to test out or documents to scan over). The suitable level of interaction will likely depend on the purpose of the presentation – avoid trying to make it too interactive if people are there mainly to listen.

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