How do I make my presentations more interesting?

September 30, 2020

Making Presentations More Interesting

A huge amount of people who sit through presentations at work are left underwhelmed.

That’s because the infamous “Death by PowerPoint” is all-too-common. But it really doesn’t have to be that way – you can make presentations more interesting and engaging.

And, as 74% of firms say remote working is here to stay, business leaders know they need to tackle the issue, so that the presentations delivered at work hold audiences’ attention and get the business results you want.

What do UK office workers say about presentations at work?

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We commissioned a survey of 2,000 office workers in the UK with OnePoll to find out how they feel about presentations in the workplace.

Here’s what people say about presentations at work:

Presentations play a significant role in our working lives:

  • People listen to an average of 1.95 presentations at work per week.
  • 7% of people listen to at least 2 every week. 

Almost half of us admit that our minds wander during a presentation at work:

  • On average it takes just 10.71 minutes for office workers’ minds to drift off during a presentation at work.
  • 7% say their minds start to drift off less than 10 minutes into a work presentation.
  • People in London have a slightly longer attention span, lasting an average of 11.89 minutes before losing focus on work presentations.
  • People in East Anglia and Northern Ireland only last 9.09 and 9.11 minutes respectively before their minds start to wander. 

And we’re thinking about TV, food and sex instead:

  • 1% of people say they think about other work they need to do.
  • 53% think about food.
  • 5% think about plans for the weekend.
  • 8% think about what they’re going to watch in the evening.
  • 31% of our respondents’ minds jump straight to sex.  

Death by PowerPoint is real

  • 58% of people say they’ve either fallen asleep or felt drowsy during a presentation at work.
  • 60% of those aged 18-24 say they have.
  • And over 50% of people from every age group surveyed said the same.

Read the full survey results here.

But at Future Present, we’re leading a revolution against dull, boring PowerPoint presentations. Through expert design and by paying close attention to the technology, storytelling and dynamics of presenting, we transform presentations so that they wow audiences and transform businesses. 

We asked our team of presentation experts to for their top tips to help you make your presentations more interesting and keep audiences wanting more.

11 quick tips to make your presentations more interesting  

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  1. Tell stories

The best and most memorable presentations have one thing in common – they tell a story. Stories help people to connect. Tell a story to grab and keep your audience's attention and bring focus, intrigue and suspense to your presentation messages and data.

  1. Use the element of surprise

You should always make sure that there’s a structure to your presentation – but mix it up. Add elements that will surprise and delight your audience to keep it interesting and give it pace. Give people something unexpected.  

  1. Ask questions

Bring elements of interactivity into your presentation to keep engagement levels up. Punctuate your presentation with thought-provoking or rhetorical questions, or ask your audience to take part in a quick live poll. Phrase questions so that you can deliver the answers.

  1. Use videos and animations

People love video content, just look at how much we consume YouTube content! Videos and animations are great for adding a different element to your presentations.

  1. Think about props

Whether you’re presenting in person, or via video, don’t be afraid to use a prop, or two, to bring a message or story to life. You can even use a prop to demo something you’re trying to sell.

  1. Bring other people into the mix

Using multiple speakers gives you a break from speaking and, by allowing others to share the limelight, you can bring other perspectives into the presentation.

  1. Include your goal at the start

If your audience understands the goal of the presentation up front they are more likely to relate to what you’re saying and join the dots early on. It also helps you to structure your presentation well – building up to the call to action.

  1. Add in another perspective

You can use different perspectives to add credibility to your presentations – such as facts or stats that aren’t your own but that support your goals. For example industry facts and stats, dilemmas, etc.

  1. Get emotional

Part of your storytelling should evoke an emotional reaction – to make a connection with your audience. You want them to feel something.

  1. Write great content

Remember that you want your audience to focus on what you’re saying, not reading reams of content on screen during your presentation. So, write great content, then review what needs to be on screen to support what you want to talk about, and remove any words that don’t really need to be on the slides.

  1. Create a dynamic design

You’ve spent all this time and effort creating an interesting presentation, don’t forget to invest in making it look good too.

Need some help with your business presentations? Get in touch with the experts at Future Present. No one knows PowerPoint like we do.

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