As a presentation specialist, it’s your job to keep people’s attention, but in our world of consistent sensory input, that's becoming increasingly difficult to do. Winning over the hearts and minds of a distracted audience requires a killer presentation that makes both eyes and ears perk. Incorporate these elements in every PowerPoint presentation you create to make people forget about their email inbox and incoming texts for five minutes.
Make Your PowerPoint Presentation Pop
- Research your audience, not just your subject
The owner of a fresh fish market asks about the catch. A fellow angler asks about the fishing. Different things matter to different people, and knowing what matters to those you are trying to reach is essential to creating a presentation that resonates.Begin your presentation research by learning about your audience. Find out what matters to them. Are they big-picture people, or number crunchers? Jokesters, or no nonsense? By knowing your audience, you can design a presentation in their language.
- Shock them
Eight seconds. That is the length of the adult attention span. Eight seconds, and your audience’s collective mind is already wandering. So, you have eight seconds to convince them to keep reading. This is where knowing the audience’s interests makes a huge impact. If they own the fish market, lead with the number of nets you pulled in. If they’re anglers, tell them about the biggest fish you ever caught.Blow their minds, and make them want to know more.
- Tell them a story
There’s a reason so much of human history comes in story form. The human brain is naturally responsive to storytelling. Stories also arouse human emotion, which positively correlates to retention. For a story to work, you must make your audience want to know how it comes out. So, use three-act structure – set the story up, increase the stakes, and wrap it up with a satisfying resolution.
- Incorporate media wisely
Facebook posts that include pictures get 104% more comments and 84% more clicks than posts with only text. That may be because the brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds, so when someone is scrolling, they notice a picture more than the text that goes with it. That’s true for presentations as well. So, put as much effort into the pictures you choose as the text you write.
- Keep it bite-sized.
That eight-second attention span isn’t just a one-time thing. Unfortunately, your audience’s attention can waver at any time. Keep that in mind when creating a presentation. If you write an effective story, your audience should stay with you, but tell it as concisely as possible, and keep slide lengths short.It also doesn’t hurt to throw in a twist or an amazing statistic every now and then, just to make sure they're still paying attention.
Every presentation specialist knows how important engagement is to carry an audience through to the end. If you’ve got the know-how to build great presentations and want to put your skills to work, contact us today to learn more.