It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

Most of us will have attended a boring presentation, and if we are truly honest many of us will have also given a less than interesting presentation at some point in our careers!

Just because a subject matter isn’t the most exciting, it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your audience interested.

But why do so many people give boring presentations?

  • A big factor is nerves. 74% of people have a fear of some kind of public speaking, so if giving a presentation fills you with dread then you aren’t alone.
  • If you are really passionate about your job then you aren’t likely to find it boring so may forget that your audience doesn’t naturally share your passion for the subject.
  • Not everyone is a natural public speaker. Some bosses may not realise that their staff need to be taught how to present.

So what can you do to make your subject more interesting for your audience?

Body language is just as important as the content of your slides.

  • Words only account for 7% of human communication.
  • Tone of voice accounts for 38% and body language accounts for 55%.
  • Positive body language is crucial in public speaking and presentations.

Making eye contact with the audience from the start and smiling directly at people as you look at them will give a good first and your audience will focus more on your message if they feel you are speaking directly to them.

Try to gesture with your arms and hands as you make your points. It goes without saying that crossing your arms will make you look guarded and putting your hands in your pockets makes you look bored – if you appear bored your audience are going to be as well!

Try and control your nerves. A few butterflies are ok but if you’re too nervous you won’t get your point across effectively and risk rushing through your slides. Take a few deep breaths before starting.

Project your voice. If you speak quietly not only might the people at the back of the room struggle to hear what you are saying, they might also think you aren’t enthusiastic about the message you’re selling.

Keep your slides to the minimum amount needed to get your message across. Research findings advise that we keep content on slides to a minimum – ideally one point per slide.

Don’t just read from the slides – your audience can do that for themselves. Clean, well designed slides with 1 message and visual per slide rather than just blocks of text mean that you can expand on your main points and have your audience focus on what you’re saying rather than reading the information for themselves.

Using eye catching visuals will give your audience something to look and will keep hold of their attention – just make sure the images are relevant to the message.

If you try to keep these tips in mind then you’ll be on your way to giving a more interesting presentation. For more advice on how to make your presentations more effective get in touch with us here.

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