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Presentation Hack: Use Your Audience

This would work best with smaller presentation audiences, say a room of 100 or fewer.

  • Instead of PowerPoint, bring your slides as color copies (maybe mount them to card stock to keep them from being floppy; if you’re REALLY going to re-use the presentation, laminate the pages).
  • Label the backs of each slide with a big number. 1 through however many you have.
  • Before the presentation, hand out your slides, one to a person, to various places in the audience, the more diverse the better.
  • Present from the middle of the group and not on the podium (like I said, this hack works best in a small room).
  • Instead of clicking a mouse or pounding the space bar, just call out, “One.” The person holding “slide” 1 should hold it up at this point, show it around.
  • Present your topic as normal, only with people helping you move the imagery along.

Variations on this theme could be:

  • If you’re an educator, have your students create each slide per the theme you give them. (Slide four will be about Freedom. What image would you use to show freedom?)
  • If you’ve got a small group, consider a “walking” field presentation instead of using the conference room. Walk through the plant, or give the presentation out front on the sidewalk. Break out of the building.
  • Depending on the information being provided, make up the slides right there in the room. Get some folks up to the whiteboard and ask them to draw whatever comes to mind related to the title of the “slide.”

Corny? Maybe, but it might prove more memorable than your average “stand at the front and drone over slides” routine. Why NOT try something new? You’ve chosen to come to work, but you haven’t necessarily signed off on your creativity and your personality. Try something new from time to time. You’ll strike out on occasion, but you’ll also create some interesting memories in what might be an otherwise drab environment.

–Chris Brogan presents often at []

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