Top 6 Tips for Engaging Presentations

Richard Webb

Would you like everyone who attends your presentations to keep talking about them afterwards? There is a way to create this kind of buzz. Rather than leading your audience through bullety slides, you can use a rich picture as the landscape for your presentation.

1.    Surprise them

Your audience will usually expect a linear set of slides. They’ll expect to be led step by step down a path from introduction, through the main, to the conclusion. But what if you had just one slide that showed your entire story?

2.    Never use a bullet again

Bullets have a way of distracting both you and your audience. People will be trying to read your bullets instead of listening to you, and you’ll be checking the slides to see if you’ve covered everything. The minute you read something from a slide, you’ve lost your storytelling flow. There’s also the temptation to cram in as many bullets as you can, so you don’t have to cram them into your head – that’s not the best approach if you want to come across as the expert in what you’re saying.

3.    Paint a picture instead

You can create a single rich picture with lots of visual cues to represent the topics you need to cover. It can put everything in context straight away and without the constraints of words. You’ll have a flexible visual aid that lets you bring in references and language to suit your audience.

4.    Make it engaging

Use storytelling and emotion. We describe our lives through stories and we love them – it’s a human trait. In business we think we’re all rational, but emotion plays a major part in decision-making. Don’t fall back on lists of features – they have no emotion.

5.    Make it relevant

Ideally, prepare your story around your audience. Put it in the context of their challenges and make it easy for them to explore everything with you as you talk. When people see themselves – their lives, jobs, problems, desires – as part of your story, you’ve won more of their attention straight away.

6.    Conversation not presentation

If you’re in a situation where you can interact with your audience, a rich picture will help you get people talking. The absence of words leaves things open to interpretation and you’ll find interesting observations and questions coming at you – what better sign of engagement when the audience is helping to shape the conversation?


Richard Webb

Richard Webb

Richard Webb is the owner of See What You Mean who specialise in creating engaging visual solutions for complex messages. Powerful rich pictures will help you engage with your audience and set yourself apart as a presenter.
029 20 480 400 | |


Published On: 9th Apr 2012

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