How to make your presentations more engaging

Unfortunately, most people do not possess a talent for speaking in public but it is a skill you would be well-advised to learn and practice. At some point in our lives, we all find ourselves having to perform a public speaking role, whether that be at a wedding, funeral or – perhaps most nerve-wracking of all – in front of a room full of strangers in a work capacity. Even if you are just producing an internet-only presentation, it can still be disconcerting thinking of people viewing you speaking live.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to presenting

Many people find it deeply uncomfortable having a room full of eyes fixated directly on them or broadcasting live and even if you manage to keep your nerves under control, it can often be challenging to keep an audience engaged. The truth is, the more you talk in front of people, the more relaxed and polished you will become, but there is still nothing worse than looking out at an audience only to find them bored or disinterested.

Interesting content and skilled delivery make for a good presentation

While practice will undoubtedly improve your skills at speaking, the content and delivery of your presentation are vitally important if you are to keep an audience hooked. Ideally, you will want to be both amusing and informative without straying into being cheesy, overbearing or appearing desperate. This is often hard to achieve – particularly if the subject of your presentation is dry or uninteresting – but injecting a bit of your own personality into your delivery can go a long way to keeping viewers interested.

Tips for keeping things interesting – no matter how boring the subject

While striking this balance can sometimes be difficult, there are some tried and tested tips you can employ that have been proven to improve presentations:

Keep it short and sweet: There is little point in loading your speech with complex or lengthy descriptions. It is almost always better to keep things as short and concise as possible so your audience can properly digest what you are trying to stay. If you ramble on for hours, you will only end up losing the interest and attention of your viewers – plus, you will also probably find you water down your key messages. The best orators have always understood the importance of short, punchy sentences.

Help your audience to understand your message: If you are broadcasting over the internet, remember the potential implications of different dialects or languages and consider employing captioning services like those provided by expert provider, Verbit. Not everyone might understand your accent so make it easier for your viewers to fully grab your message.

Break the ice quickly and make it personal: Even if your audience knows you, it is possible they will not have seen you in this capacity before (this becomes considerably more likely if they do not know you). Find ways to break the ice early with humor, forming an emotional connection, using metaphors, starting with a controversial statement or employing anecdotes. Establishing trust with your audience through emotions is one of the best and quickest ways to set an audience at ease – plus it will help them form a familiarity with you.

Remember, no-one wants to see you fail: The vast majority of nerves through public speaking come from a perceived notion that you might make a fool of yourself in front of an audience. It is well worth remembering, no-one in front of you (either virtually over the internet or in person) will take any pleasure in you failing. Rather, they would like to see you succeed and entertain. If you remember that, you will be far more likely to drop your nerves and start speaking more naturally and with flow.

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