Everyone has days where they’re feeling short of creativity and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to preparing presentations. We’ve put together 10 suggestions for ways in which you can tweak your routine to make it more interesting for you and your audience.
1 – Break it up a bit
If your material is particularly serious or dense, give your audience some mental interludes with an occasional change of format. Include picture-only slides to support analogies, bring another speaker on for a debate or throw in a humorous video – anything to change it up for your listeners.
2 – Ask questions
Your audience has been sat down and talked at countless times before, but why not turn it around and put the onus on them for a change? Use an Audience Response System to integrate pop quizzes, opinion polls and yes/no voting into your presentation and build off of your results. We’ve put together some tips for this here and here.
3 – Bring your passion to the table
Yes, some topics are naturally more interesting than others, but why would you be talking about a subject if you found it boring? Let your audience see your enthusiasm, whatever you’re talking about.
4 – Be yourself
Some people find themselves becoming awkward and stiff at the front of a room, under the impression that they need to be rehearsed and formal. There’s no right or wrong way to deliver a presentation, so if you’re a natural storyteller or like to use your hands when you talk, lean into it a bit – just maybe do a dry run in front of a trusted colleague to make sure you’re not going overboard!
5 – Don’t be scared of humour
If you’re comfortable telling jokes (don’t try this one if you’re not), inject some wit or light comedy into your presentation to break the ice and make your speech more memorable.
6 – Bin the script
Rehearsing what you’re going to say is a great way to prepare and having prompt cards can keep you on track. Memorising everything word for word? Yawn.
7 – Pick up some props
There’s a reason why show-and-tell is so popular at school – bringing in an object creates intrigue and gives your audience members something to focus on while you tell your story.
8 – Bring props for your audience if you can, too
It’s not always possible, especially at larger events, but giving your listeners something that relates to your message is a good way to increase curiosity and stay memorable.
9 – Mix up your presentation software
Powerpoint is like an old friend, but introducing a slightly different format (like Prezi, or Visme) can shake up your routine.
10 – Ditch the slides
If you’re feeling really brave, let go of text-based slides altogether, and rely on your own charisma to bring your topic to life.