Presentation Magazine

5 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged


Here are some simple ideas to help you keep your audience engaged during your next presentation.

1. Get everyone on their feet to help illustrate your statistics

Getting everyone on their feet to help you illustrate your statistics is a great way to reinforce your message, as well as stopping everyone from getting too fidgety.

This could take the form of a simple poll within the room (for example, asking everyone who took the bus that morning to stand up) or putting different place cards on everyone’s seats for reference later on.

2. Brief your audience ahead of the presentation

Briefing your audience ahead of your presentation will give them the opportunity to engage with the topic and prepare some questions they may like to ask.

This briefing could take the form of an email containing an agenda and some wider reading, or a pamphlet handed to them as they enter the presentation hall.

Familiarity with the agenda can also prevent your audience from becoming restless during a section that doesn’t particularly interest them, as they will know that their preferred topic is coming up shortly.

3. Give your audience a voice

raise-hands-185There is nothing more frustrating for an audience than being spoken at for hours on end, with no opportunity to contribute.

You can counteract this by scheduling a question and answer session into your presentation. You could also try sandwiching sessions between topics during particularly long presentations, and gathering audience opinions through a show of hands.

4. Deliver your presentation with some variety

Even the most interesting topic in the world will suffer if it is presented in a monotonous voice through a series of grey line graphs.

Try spicing up your next presentation with a mix of slides, video material (preferably featuring a lively theme tune), relevant cartoons and personal stories to help keep your audience on their toes.

This concept also extends to your stage presence. Don’t just stand there! Walk around the stage, make hand gestures, point at your graphs and show some passion for the topic you are talking about.

5. Make a statement with your outfit

If you walk out on stage head to toe in grey, your audience might not even realise you’ve arrived!

Adding a statement item to your outfit, such as a brightly coloured shirt, can help your audience engage with your presence before you’ve even opened your mouth.

[Editor’s note – Remember there is a fine line between making a presence and looking ridiculous. It would be a terrible waste of everyone’s time for your message to be upstaged by your favourite Hawaiian shirt.]

How do you keep your audience engaged? Have you tried any of the above?

Let us know in the box below.

 

Published On: 10th Feb 2015

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4 Comments
  1. Its very nice and worth full hints for me.Bcos I can use these tips on my training sessions.

    Jiffry 11 Feb at 7:40 am
  2. #3 is really important, as long as you can keep the audience from taking over the conversation. Once you get one person talking, it seems everyone has something to say.

    Julie 8 Apr at 9:52 pm
  3. dear,
    sir
    I am really appriciate your presentation
    and I will create our presentation
    your suggetions.
    thanx and regards
    sachin soni

    sachin soni 5 May at 2:46 pm
  4. I agree with most of these, but briefing the audience before hand seems slightly redundant if there’s a presentation doesn’t it? I mean they need to know what the presentation is on so they know they want to see it, but…

    John 12 May at 11:25 pm
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