PowerPoint has become the staple for many business and educational presentations. When the program is not an option, you can give a powerful lecture without slides. An effectively created presentation can help your audience be present and engaged with the material instead of focused on images and text.
Use physical objects to give your presentation more depth and help your audience understand what you are talking about. Pass around items that relate to the topic. For a business pitch, hand out or demonstrate working product prototypes. Giving audience members something to touch and interact with can help them be in the moment. For many people, seeing an item in person is more powerful than hearing about it.
Use a story as your guide as you are writing and planning your presentation script. A narrative can keep your audience members interested and engaged in the information that you are presenting. Stories are easy to remember and help listeners relate to the information in a more personal and meaningful way, which facts alone cannot do. Presentations do not have to have complicated or deep stories: even a common theme or character can give meaning to bland information.
In a business situation, marketing materials can keep your information in the minds of listeners even after you have left the building. Depending on your topic, you might leave brochures, fliers or spec sheets. If you sense that your audience is not following or comprehending, hand out a diagram that will help with the explanation or provide a jumping-off point for additional questions. Hand out materials sparingly while you are talking to avoid losing the attention of the people in the room.
Presentations become an endless stream of similar talks and styles for many professionals, making it difficult to keep their attention. Make your audience an active part of the presentation by encouraging them to participate. Select people as volunteers for role-playing or demonstrations. The mere novelty of seeing co-workers in an unfamiliar situation can be enough to refocus the rest of the room, and viewers will take away more than they would if you simply talked at them.
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