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Bored With Business Presentations? 10 Refreshing And Engaging Tactics To Rock The Stage

Bored With Business Presentations? 10 Refreshing And Engaging Tactics To Rock The Stage

Are you fed up of creating the same old PowerPoint presentations and losing your audience within the first 10 minutes? You need to up your game and try something new! Here we will share a list of ten techniques and out of the box presentation skills that go beyond the use of ineffective PowerPoint slides.

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    Change things up by hosting your presentation somewhere unique and interesting, rather than just another conference hall.

    1.    Choose a unique location for your presentation

    One of the best ways to attract and engage an audience for your presentation is to choose a unique and interesting location. Conference halls have a corporate and somewhat boring feel to them and if you don’t want that projecting onto your innovative idea or product, choosing an exciting, yet relevant setting for your presentation is key.

    A company called The Lost Lectures demonstrates just how effective it can be to choose a unique location for a presentation. The concept behind their business idea is to host enchanting talks from secret locations that take the audience away from traditional corporate or academic environments and into more inspiring and imaginative places.

    Another great way to engage your audience and heighten their expectations of your presentation is to keep the location a secret until the day before or even the morning of the event. This will get people talking about it and add a shroud of mystery to your idea or product.

    2. Share the stage

    Far too many CEOs and entrepreneurs think that they have to carry out their presentation alone, when in fact sharing the stage with members of their team would make for a more interesting and effective presentation format. As a general rule (which we will go on to talk more about later) you should not be speaking for more than ten minutes at a time. A great way to break up your presentation and keep your audience engaged is to have multiple speakers contributing with their expert knowledge. Even if you can’t necessarily have multiple members of your team on stage, you could always include them via video link to add another element of interest to your presentation.

    3. Tell a story

    Whilst PowerPoint slides have long been used in presentations, they are not the greatest tools for engaging and exciting an audience. Something that is far more interesting and appealing to audiences is the stories you have to tell. Telling your audience the story of your business or how you came up with an idea or project is a great way to engage with them on a more personal level. It will be like you are sharing ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge with them and giving them an insight into how your mind works.

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    Telling a story will also help you to show the love and passion you have for the idea you are presenting. After all, if you are not enthusiastic about your product, service or idea, then your audience isn’t going to be either.

    When preparing your presentation, remember that all good stories have a hero and a villain. Your villain will be the problem that you are aiming to solve and your hero will be your idea or product – the solution to the problem.

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      Make your headline, the opening sentence to your presentation, Twitter-friendly.

       4.  Create a Twitter-friendly headline

      A fantastic technique to remember when preparing your presentations is to create a Twitter-friendly headline. This is a sentence that summarises your idea or the purpose of your presentation in 140 characters or less. By creating this headline and repeating it a few times throughout your presentation, you will give journalists, bloggers and any other attendees of your presentation a line they can easily tweet.

      A company that is renowned for creating Twitter-friendly presentation headlines is Apple. For every product launch they announce, they will create a Twitter-friendly headline to use in their keynote presentations. For example, when Tim Cook announced the launch of iOS 7 he used the headline ‘iOS7 is the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.’ Needless to say, this exact sentence was tweeted by multiple individuals and outlets immediately after the presentation.

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        Steve Jobs was arguably one of the best keynote speakers, known for his Twitter-friendly headlines such as ‘Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.’

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        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-zMRPZpvcw

        5.    Make your presentation multi-sensory

        Let’s face it; no one at your presentation is going to capture all of the stats and data you provide in the charts and graphs on your boring PowerPoint slides. Data is more memorable when it’s visually interesting. Rather than trying to explain challenging stats and data, why not spend time converting it into a format that is easier for your audience to digest? Breaking the monotony by using multi-sensory tools and visual aids like mood boards and infographics is a great way to highlight the points you are trying to make, without confusing your audience with unnecessary clutter.

        6. Fuse online and offline content

        Another fantastic way to engage your audience is to fuse online and offline content and make your presentation interactive. For example, you could build a simple app for your presentation that people can download on their smartphones for free and use to participate. Possible interactions could involve submitting questions, answering questions or even simply providing feedback. Getting your audience involved in any way will help to keep them focused and interested in your idea.

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          Widen your audience and provide a reminder for attendees by uploading your presentation online.

          6.  Upload your presentation for the world to see

          The presentations you make will be a key part of your brand’s story and will help to deliver a marketing message, so rather than simply giving a presentation and moving on, why not milk it for all it has to give? One of the ways you can generate a greater return from the work you have put into your presentation is to video it and upload it online. That way you will be able to share your presentation with a much wider (or even global) audience and also provide a reminder to attendees.

          You could also consider re-purposing some of the content from your presentation and creating a series of blog posts to run along side it or even a webinar.

          www.youtube.com/embed/yGENcskRGRk

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          8. Stick to the 10 minute rule

          We mentioned earlier just how important it is to break up your presentation so that you are talking for no more than ten minutes at a time. The reason that the ten minute rule exists is because it is thought that the average person’s attention span lasts no longer than ten minutes. This means that if you continue talking about the same thing for over ten minutes, you are likely to lose the majority of your audience.

          Aside from introducing guest speakers to contribute their knowledge, another way you can stick to the ten minute rule is by inserting short video clips for your audience to watch. This could be a video demonstration of the product in action or even a humorous video outlining the problems that your product or idea can solve. Alternatively you could re-capture your audience’s attention by asking them to participate in your presentation using a mobile app or do a quick Q&A session.

          Image 5(1)

            Heard of a silent disco? Capture your audiences’ attention by creating a silent presentation!

            9. Try your hand at silent conferencing

            Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few years, it is likely that you will have heard of silent discos. A silent disco involves giving participants headphones, which are linked up the DJ’s sound system, so only they can hear the music playing. Well believe it or not, this concept is actually being introduced to the world of business conferences. Yes, many people are now trialing this innovative presentation method in hope that it will captivate their audience’s attention and prevent them from getting distracted by their surroundings.

            This concept would work particularly well if you were given a presentation at an exhibition, trade show or another busy environment with a lot of footfall. It would eliminate the distractions surrounding your audience and ensure they are focused on you and your idea only.

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              Practice, practice, practice so when you step up in front of that microphone, you know exactly what you want to say and how to deliver it.

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              10. Practice makes perfect

              Whilst you may think we are ending our list on a rather obvious point, what we really wanted to stress is that even the best and most natural presenters in the world practice their presentations and speeches again and again. Although you may have thought that Steve Jobs was naturally great at presenting, it may not have been the case if he didn’t practice so much! Jobs spent hours and hours practicing his presentations to empty conference halls to ensure that when it came to actually giving his keynote speech, it was delivered in a casual, yet polished and effortless manner.

              www.youtube.com/embed/i68a6M5FFBc

              In order to deliver a successful presentation you need to be able to speak it word for word without needing to refer to notes. The odd hidden bullet point behind the mic stand is fine, but no one wants to see you holding sheets of paper or reading word for word off your PowerPoint slides (your audience can do that themselves). Instead take the time to thoroughly prepare yourself to give your presentation. You will find it extremely helpful to break your content down into smaller sections. Another great thing to do is to use different visual aids and formats. Not only will they help your audience to stay engaged, but they will also help you to remember what’s coming up next.

              Conclusion

              The idea behind any presentation is to educate, entertain, inform and inspire an audience, no matter whether they are prospective customers, co-workers or investors. A great presentation requires extensive creativity, careful planning and a hell of a lot of practice, but if someone is willing to take the time to listen to your ideas, it only seems right that you put effort into making your presentation the best it can possibly be.

              Image credits: Access Advertising, Kooroshication, dfarber, clasesdeperiodismo, Media-Saturn and kelbycarr

              Featured photo credit: Freevector.com via freevector.com

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              Last Updated on May 22, 2019

              50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

              50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

              LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

              Job Search Experts

              You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

              1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

              2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

              3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

              4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

              5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

              Management Experts

              They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

              6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

              7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

              8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

              9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

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              Productivity Experts

              By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

              10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

              11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

              12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

              13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

              Marketing Experts

              14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

              15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

              16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

              17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

              18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

              19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

              20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

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              21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

              22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

              23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

              24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

              25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

              26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

              Personal Branding Experts

              Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

              Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

              27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

              28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

              Other Notable Experts to Follow

              29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

              30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

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              31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

              32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

              33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

              34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

              35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

              36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

              37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

              38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

              39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

              40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

              41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

              42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

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              43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

              44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

              45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

              46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

              47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

              48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

              49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

              50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

              These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

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