4 Tips for Going from Boring to Impactful Presentations
While it’s great finally being able to get together with colleagues, the downside is more in-person meetings. And boring presentations. At least on Zoom you can turn off the camera and zone out. Not so easy when you’re in person.
I don’t think anyone ever plans to give a boring presentation that has people staring at the clock, hoping it will end. But with up to 75% of people having a fear of public speaking, many of these boring presentations stem from fear vs lack of personality.
Here are 4 simple tips to go from giving boring to impactful presentations.
#1 Know Your Audience
This is so key. Too often people focus on what I want to share, what I want people to know, what I think is important.
That would be great if you were talking to yourself in the mirror. But there’s a good chance you’re talking to people who aren’t your clones.
To ensure you’re connecting with those listening to you, think about
- How do they connect to the subject?
- Why does this matter to them?
- What do they care about?
- Why should they care about what I’m saying?
In your presentation, you can directly address these. Example – I bet some of you are wondering why you’re here and how this connects to you. Then explain the why and how.
By doing this you’re stating what’s running in their head, which will likely result in them tuning in to hear yeah, why am I here.
#2 Keep it Brief
Thanks to months of Zoom meetings, our attention span has decreased. I don’t know about you, but my cap is about an hour. The shorter the better.
Just because we’re now back together doesn’t mean we should return to rambling meetings or presentations. Let’s keep the momentum of shorter is better.
If you’re presenting on a complicated topic, consider breaking it down into a series of mini presentations. This not only helps keep people’s attention, but allows them time to digest and think about what was presented. Way more impactful than dumping a lot of information, confusing people, then walking away.
#3 Use Storytelling
My absolute favourite trick to go from boring to impactful presentations is storytelling. Before we had tweets and text messages, we used storytelling as our primary form of communications.
Why? Because our brains are hardwired for stories. We retain up to 10x more information when it’s told in a story.
Think about when you’re with your friends. Do they dump information on you? Or do they share a story about something that happened at work or with their kids? When you leave, you likely remember the story and share it with your partner or a friend.
When you’re creating your presentation think about what stories you can tell to help make a personal connection. Going back to your audience and what they care about, think of a story that would resonate with them.
#4 End with a Call to Action
Finally, don’t end your presentation with thanks for listening. Because I promise you not everyone was listening, and some tuned out (intentionally or unintentionally).
Rather, end your presentation with a BRIEF summary of the key points. Then tell people what you want them to do with the information you shared.
If you’re just sharing to share, you could likely send an email instead.
Think about why you are presenting. Is there an action you want them to take? Is this part one of a series of conversations?
Tell people what the action is that they need to take. Don’t assume they know – otherwise they’ll chose the action (which could include do nothing).
I’ve asked people to take out their phones, open their notes section and write something down. Whether it’s a reminder to themselves of what they need to do or 3 key points. The idea is by getting them to get out their phones and take notes, they are actively participating in the call to action.
Each presentation will have a different call to action. Really think this out when preparing your presentation. Remember – the last thing people hear is often what sticks when them (besides your awesome story).
Follow these 4 tips and you’re on your way to go from boring to impactful presentations. Trust me – your colleagues will thank you!