No one wants to create a boring presentation. Nothing’s worse than sitting through a long conference where all of the speakers blend together into a single monotonous droning buzz. You don’t want your audience going home realizing the only thing they learned is that some people really enjoy reading directly off of PowerPoint slides.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are seven tips that will help you create a presentation that goes beyond merely “not boring,” and into engaging and memorable:
1. Find Some Way to Be Passionate About Your Material
This is the tip from which all the others flow. Passion will make everyone, including you, enjoy the presentation more. If you’re passionate about your topic, your enthusiasm will be apparent to the crowd. On the other hand, if you don’t seem at least a little excited about your topic, then it doesn’t give the audience much of a reason to be excited either.
2. Know Your Material Inside and Out
Having a great deal of knowledge on what you’re speaking about will make many things easier. First, it takes the pressure off of you for having to memorize a speech word for word. If you know a lot about a topic then you will be much more comfortable talking about it. This way, if you happen to deviate from your script a bit, you won’t have to panic.
This will also allow you to engage with the audience in a post-presentation question and answer session without having to search through your notes for an answer. Plus, if you’re having trouble finding a way to be passionate about your topic, learning as much as you can about it is a great way to start. Chances are you’ll find something to spark your interest.
3. Research Your Audience
If you have an idea of what your audience knows, you won’t have to waste time rehashing information everyone in the room is familiar with. It will also help you to learn how in depth you can go. The more educated your audience is on your topic, the more details you can get into in your presentation.
4. Use Visual Aids
The important thing to remember with these is that they should only complement your presentation. You shouldn’t rely on them to get through your presentation and you shouldn’t have to look at them as often as your audience.
If you have access to the venue beforehand, consider hanging some relevant banners or signs from the ceiling. It’ll grant an air of authority to your presentation. Try looking into renting some access lifts to make it happen.
5. Practice Your Presentation Again and Again
Reading your notecards under your breath a few times on the plane ride over to the conference does not count as practicing. Run through your presentation multiple times in conditions as close to the real occasion as possible. Recruit family members, friends, coworkers – anyone willing to help you out – to act as an audience and deliver your presentation in the exact same way you plan doing so for the actual event.
This is all about making you more comfortable with the material and helping you to figure out what parts of the presentation give you trouble. You don’t want to figure out what words you have difficulty pronouncing up on stage.
6. Be Funny
This tip comes with a few caveats. If you know you’re not a funny person, don’t try to be funny for the presentation. If you don’t get many laughs with your friends, you probably won’t get many on a stage. Also, remember to know your audience. Humor is not appropriate for every presentation and what presentations it is appropriate for depends entirely on whose sitting in the crowd.
7. Let Your Audience Leave with Something
This can mean literally handing them an informative pamphlet to take with them, or it can be something more abstract like a repeated phrase or theme you reference throughout the presentation. No matter what you choose to do, make sure you try to create something specific that can stick with the audience long after you’re done speaking.