Watch for cues from the audience. If they are restless, then maybe your presentation is too slow. If they appear puzzled, then your presentation is not getting through to them.
Surveys have asked audiences which presentation techniques are annoying. Of course, annoying presentations detract from remembering and learning. Here are the top 6 audience annoyances. Each annoyance is followed by the percentage of respondents that agree. Annoyance Percentage of RespondentWho Are Annoyed Reading the slides 74% Full sentences 52% Small text 48% Poor color choices Read more about Audience Annoyances[…]
People remember and learn better when information is presented in story form. After all, that is how we all started to learn – our parents read us stories. We all know that it is important not to lie. We learned this from the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Instead of presenting your information Read more about Tell Stories[…]
The audience is easily distracted, especially if you are speaking to an anonymous audience at a conference. Do not hand out a printed version of your presentation, because this is one of the distractions. You know, because we all do it, that the audience will be flipping through your presentation and reading ahead. This means Read more about Audience Distractions[…]
Your task is to communicate effectively with the audience and to use techniques that ensure they will remember your key messages and learn from your presentation. Research has shown that the audience will remember 3 to 5 things from a 1 hour presentation. We all feel that we have many more important ideas that we Read more about How Much Will The Audience Remember?[…]
The audience is on your side. They want you to succeed. They are investing their time and are hoping that your presentation will be informative, educational and entertaining. Your task is to communicate effectively with the audience and to use techniques that ensure they will remember your key messages and learn from your presentation.
Do not apologize for anything. Do not say “I am sorry this room is too warm”. This is not in your control. Apologizing for things outside your control is one thing, but apologizing for things that you have done is unacceptable. At a recent presentation, the speaker showed a graph measured over the last years Read more about No Apologies[…]
Change the tone and volume of your voice. This is not easy because many speakers slip into a monotone sometime during their presentation. This requires practice and a conscious decision to vary your voice.
Do not point to a particular audience member. Have you been pointed out during a presentation where the speaker asks you a direct question – like, “When is the last time you had to deliver a presentation”? Ouch! Better for the speaker to state the obvious answer instead of asking a question. For example, the speaker could say, “We Read more about Discomfort[…]
Humour should be used if it supports your key messages. Most attempts at humour are met with an uncomfortable silence, because they are outside the context of the presentation topics. If you want to try adding humour to your presentation then at least make the humour relevant to the content – why tell a golf joke Read more about Humour[…]