presentation quick tip

Presentation Quick Tip #6 - How To Keep Your Audience Engaged

One of the biggest fears or moments of panic is when you see your audience becoming disinterested in your presentation. They are either not paying attention, being distracted by the latest game or, more than likely, the latest Grumpy Cat photo. Whatever it may be, you as the presenter hate that moment. But it doesn't have to be that way...

Check out the video for a quick explanation of what to do or keep reading for an in-depth look at this topic.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Quick Tip #6 - How To Keep Your Audience Engaged

Video length 1:08  

Yes, it's true that people have a limited attention span, but it doesn't mean we have to let that rule, or ruin, our presentations. What you have to do is re-engage or reacquire their attention just before their attention span heads south.

How long before that happens?

Most experts say that human attention span ranges from 5-10 minutes, depending on which expert you're referring to. With so many distractions, especially from always present smart phones, I'm sure the limits of human attention have gone down.

In the case of presentations, it's better to err on the lower end of the scale. Therefore, I suggest re-engaging or re-acquiring the audience's attention once every 3-5 minutes.

Great, but how the heck do I do that??

To be honest, it actually doesn't matter what you do. The point is that if you've been speaking for a few minutes, you have to break the monotony and snap people out of their trance. I'm not saying that your content is boring. I'm just saying that you must do something.

For example, you could show, or talk about, something relevant to your presentation. A video demonstrating your point is always good. In fact, Apple uses this technique in all their presentations.

Another thing you could do is give your audience an interesting fact or statistic that reinforces what you're saying. Again, just make sure it's relevant.

If you have time and it's appropriate, or if you plan it, you could tell a personal story related to your topic. But be careful that the outcome of your story isn't predictable or your audience will lose interest before you ever finish.

Finally, a live demo of some sort can also be used. If possible, get your audience directly involved to connect them what you're saying in a more direct, tangible way.

The point is...

Whatever you do, just make sure you do it and be aware of your presentation's timing so your audience never has a chance to go off into la-la land... Unless that's what you're trying to do.

Thanks and talk to you next week.

Carl

 

Transcript:

Hi, it's Carl Kwan here with Presentation Quick Tip #6.

In this week's video, you're going to learn about how to time and space out the content in your presentation to keep your audience from getting bored.

Now, everyone has a very limited attention span.

They can only pay attention for maybe 3-5 minutes, maybe 7 minutes if you're lucky.

So what you wanna do is after 3-5 minutes, you wanna say, "But here's something really interesting."

And then present a fact or a statistic or some kind of really interesting piece of information that will re-engage your audience.

And make sure though that that piece of information really is interesting or they're still gonna be bored.

So remember, if you want to engage your audience and keep their attention, and make sure they don't kinda start dozing off, every 3-5 minutes introduce something that is going to be interesting to them…A stat or a figure, or whatever kind of fact or information that they will find interesting, that'll re-engage them.

And that is Presentation Quick Tip #6.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below this video.

Thanks for watching.

Talk to you again soon.

Bye-bye.

Presentation Quick Tip #5 - How to Structure Your Presentation Like a Good Story

  One of the great revelations in public speaking or presenting has been to include a story in your speech or presentation. Of course, storytelling in presentations or public speaking is not something new, but it is something that causes people a lot of stress.

So in this Presentation Quick Tip #5, I want to show you a very simple way to think about storytelling in your presentations.

Check out the video for what to do and read more below the video. You'll also find the video transcript there, too.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click to view or right-click here: Presentation Quick Tip #5 - How to Structure Your Presentation Like a Story

Video length 1:12 YouTube embed: All you need to know you learned as a child

Remember when as a child, you heard stories about monsters and heroes, and princesses and princes? If you remember those, then you most certainly remember that all of them started with an introduction, some conflict and then some sort of resolution.

The great thing is that that is the exact structure you can use for your presentations.

How to apply storytelling structure to presentations

When structuring your presentation content, remember the following…

First…

Every story has a main character, a hero. In a presentation, the main character or hero is the main topic or points you want to make.

Second…

Every story has an enemy, an antagonist. In a presentation, this will be the challenges, problems and consequences of the main topic or points.

And third…

Every story has a beginning, middle and ending. In a presentation, the beginning is your introduction or background of your topic.

The middle contains the challenges and problems, and the consequences of those challenges and problems.

The ending is the hero overcoming the enemy. In a presentation, you can now present your ideas or the solution to resolve the challenges and problems you described previously.

Does this work for every presentation?

The quick answer would be yes, but every presentation is different. However, when you're stuck thinking about how to structure your content, you can always fall back on what you've learned here.

Remember to think in terms of a beginning that introduces, a middle that describes conflict and an ending that resolves the conflict and saves the world so you can kiss the girl. Ok, I made that last part up, but since we're talking about storytelling…

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.

Be sure to subscribe to my free newsletter so you don't miss tips like this and other cool stuff, too.

Carl

 

Transcript

Hi, it's Carl Kwan here. And this is Presentation Quick Tip #5.

In this video, I'm going to talk about how to structure your presentation like a good story.

Every story has a main character, which is going to be your main points or topics that you want to cover.

Every story also has an enemy, which is going to be the problems or challenges faced by those main points and topics that you want to cover.

Every story also has a beginning, middle and end.

So the beginning is going to be the background, the introduction to everything else.

Then, the middle is going to be the problems and the things that are going to be challenging your main points.

Then finally, you want to have an ending, which is going to be presenting your solution, presenting your possible way to overcome the problems and challenges faced by your audience or whatever your topic is.

So once again, how to structure your presentation like a good story…

Make sure you have a good main character, an enemy and also the beginning, middle and ending structure, as well.

So that is Presentation Quick Tip #5.

If you have any questions or comments about this one, please leave them below this video.

Thank you for watching and talk to you again soon.

Bye-bye.

Presentation Quick Tip #4 - How to Make Boring Content Interesting

Look out! It's Presentation Quick Tip #4! In this one, you're going to learn how to make seemingly boring presentation content interesting. Many of the presentations you will have to give in your professional career will involve facts, figures or data of some kind. Most presenters will simply regurgitate everything like a sports announcer calling a boxing match…

"A right cross, a left jab, a hook, another hook…"

Although that's fine in a boxing match, it doesn't work out so well in a presentation. You've probably heard some version of the following…

"This shows last quarter's sales results. In October, we sold four thousand, nine hundred eighty dollars and twenty-seven cents worth of the XYZ Wizbang Widget. That's down eight hundred blah, blah, blah…"

I'm guessing you didn't even read all that, right? I'm right, aren't I?

Of course not… That stuff is so incredibly boring!!! Yes, I know there are people and times when we have to show that.

I'm not arguing that you shouldn't show the facts, figures or data. What I want you to know is that it is far more interesting to the audience if they know the how and why…THE STORY…behind the facts, figures or data.

So to find out what to do, watch Presentation Quick Tip #4 or you can skip down and read the video transcript.

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to view or right-click to download the video: Presentation Quick Tip #4 - How to Make Boring Content Interesting

Video length 1:18 (Almost not a Quick Tip!)  

Transcript:

Hi, it's Carl Kwan here with Presentation Quick Tip #4.

Ok, so in this week's video, I'm gonna talk about when you have facts and figures and some other information that may not be so interesting.

You know, you might think it's boring.

Well, how do you present that so that it is interesting?

Well, if you have facts and figures that you have to present, look at what is really, really important within those facts and figures.

Figure out, "Well, why should people listen to what I have to say here?"

And only choose the things that are really important.

The rest of the information, the audience can simply just look at it and pretty much understand it.

But what they don't know is the why or how behind those facts and figures.

So what you have to do then, is choose the most important thing, or the main point, from that particular slide and talk about the why and how from that particular item.

And give a little background story and information about that.

That will make that information much more interesting and relevant to your audience.

That's how you can make facts or figures, that may be boring, into something a lot more interesting for your audience.

And that is Presentation Quick Tip #4.

If you have any questions or comments about this particular video, please leave them below this video.

Thanks and talk to you again soon.

Bye-bye.

Presentation Quick Tip #3 - Start A Presentation With Misdirection

You never get a second chance to make a first impression... Not always true for every situation, but a great start to your presentation can capture your audience's attention and keep them interested throughout. Screw up the beginning and the audience may have a hard time staying alert and following along. So you need to get their attention and here's how.

I guess this could be a little misdirection, like something a magician does. I'll have to ask my friend Charles Greene III, the Presentation Magician.

Anyway, the trick is to start your presentation by telling the audience you will NOT begin with the topic they expect. Instead, you tell them you will begin with something else.

But here's the misdirection…

The other thing you tell them is actually just a better way to tell them about the topic they originally expected. Ideally, you will tell a story that is directly related to your original topic.

To get the full run down, please watch the video or read the video transcript below.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Quick Tip #3 - Start With Misdirection

Length 1:03  

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Carl Kwan here and this is Presentation Quick Tip #3.

In this video, you're gonna learn a great way to start a presentation and get the audience's attention.

So what you're gonna say is, "I was going to tell you about A, but instead, I'm going to tell you about B."

Now B must be related to A and it should also be a kind of a story about A.

So for example, "I was going to tell you about the human genome, but instead, I'm going to tell you a story about a boy who lived down the street from me who was really sick.

So the rest of the story is gonna be how the boy was sick and how the human genome was able to help him.

The human genome project, that is, of course.

So how that was able to help him is gonna be a much more interesting story than just talking about the human genome.

So again, what you'd say is, "I was going to tell you about A, but instead, I'm going to tell you about B."

And that is Presentation Quick Tip #3.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below this video.

Thanks again.

Talk to you again soon. Bye-bye.