Giving a presentation is by no means easy, especially when you’re faced with yawning audiences and a less than enthralling topic. But there’s one simple way to ensure your listeners are engaged and alert: get them involved.
Audience participation makes presentations more interesting, keeps audiences engaged, and helps to stop listeners drifting off. Why? Because people are far more likely to pay attention if they know they’ll be expected to participate at some point.
Too many people make the mistake of delivering (or perhaps even reading) their presentation to their audience, rather than discussing it with them. It’s no wonder the average audience member can only last an average of 10.7 minutes before losing focus.
By seeking your listeners’ thoughts and ideas on your topic, you will encourage positive interactions that can help your audience embrace the ideas of your presentation. But that’s not all. Abandoning the traditional “I stand here and talk, you sit there and listen” approach to presenting will establish a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in which members of your audience are more likely to speak up and get involved.
Get ‘em talking
We’ve given you the why, now it’s time for the how. How can you involve your audience in your presentation?
One quick and simple way to get your listeners to participate in your presentation is to get them talking. And the easiest way to stimulate discussion is by asking a question.
By encouraging your audience to share their thoughts, rather than just sitting and listening, you will flip the usual presentation format on its head and start to involve the audience in your presentation.
Alternatively, you can encourage your audience to ask you the questions. Don’t just ask for questions as a passing comment at the end of your presentation, though. Instead, demonstrate your genuine desire to hear what your audience has to say by dedicating specific times throughout your presentation to answer their questions.
This way, your audience will be getting involved, remaining engaged and actually contributing to your presentation.
Let’s get physical
Stimulating physical activity is an even better way to involve your audience in your presentation. Something as simple as a series of “raise your hand if…” questions will serve to make your listeners move, engaging their bodies as well as their minds.
People don’t expect to take part in anything physical during a presentation – which is what makes it such an effective way of keeping people on their toes and alert throughout.
Successful audience participation is a fantastic way to enhance your presentation. By encouraging discussion and stimulating physical activity, a presenter can increase the engagement and comprehension of their listeners. This way, they can ensure their ideas are digested more effectively. And it’s as easy as asking the audience a question.
Try it for yourself and see.
If you need help putting together that killer presentation, get in touch with us today. From expertly designed slides, to damn-clever PowerPoint development, no one does presentations like we do.