Essential ingredient for successful presentations: Interaction
Everybody knows that it is important to make contact with your audience during a presentation. However, a lot of speakers are not aware about the fact that this goes beyond only making eye contact. In presentations that are all about the speaker and his story, attention weakens quickly. The best way to get and keep the attention of your audience – or even better: having all eyes focused on you and all ears pricked – is to start real interaction. By finding a balance between transmitting and receiving, you can engage your audience and convey your message effectively.
Interaction, but how?
There are different ways to create interaction with your audience and boost your presentation. If you apply these techniques, your spectators will definitely remember your presentation and want to share their experience!
Give them an assignment
Give your hearers the assignment to do something. This allows you to directly catch the attention of your audience and create engagement in the theme of your presentation. By doing this, you are both creating alternation as well and promoting different learning styles. Have your audience think of a statement or problem in small groups. Ideally, they will have to discuss with someone they do not know yet. Give them a few minutes time and then start a discussion, asking them what their partner’s idea was. In this way, they can reflect on other’s ideas and discuss your theme.
Ask your audience questions
As a speaker, ask your audience questions instead of the other way around. For instance, ask your audience in advance what they expect of the presentation or ask how they feel about a certain topic. This allows you to make contact with your audience and at the same time get informed about the opinion of the crowd. It is not even always necessary to get an answer to your question, you can also pose retorical questions just to have your hearers think about the subject. Only ask for an answer if you really intend to do something with it.
Nowadays, smartphones and tablets are part of the standard equipment. For this reason, they are also used during presentations. Your crowd will quickly check the correctness of your facts on Google, send a Tweet about your presentation or answer interactive questions and statements via tools such as the PresentersWall. This kind of interaction tool allows you to answer questions, showing your identity or anonymously. Speakers, use this possibility to gather feedback from the crowd and improve your presentation the next time!
Make your presentation noteworthy, engage your audience!
By Evelien de Bruijn