We all get there. Standing in front of your audience which seems to be very close. There’s a need to get done with the arrangements, maybe PowerPoint. Being well organized, eloquent, and steady is essential. You try your hardest to captivate your audience. I know all about the pressure to captivate an audience in a presentation.
You fight your fears and anxiety. Keeping eye contact with your audience is another struggling issue. Maybe your heart is beating too hard. I have no problem admitting how displaying a presentation is a harsh mission. But anyway you are in and don’t have the choice to pull out. The good news is that you can turn it into an unforgettable experience you can be proud of. And maybe you’ll find out something within yourself which you have never known before.
1.- Start with an engaging introduction to captivate your audience
“No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered with a searching but at the same time a steady eye.”– Winston Churchill.
You might have great ideas you want to communicate to your audience. However, if you don’t have some persuasive content with a powerful speech, you run the risk of them falling on deaf ears. A dazzling presentation is about crafting relevant content.
Valley of Despair
While I was researching about how to captivate my audience and keep it engaged, an interesting theory called “the Valley of Despair” grasped my attention. It argues that we give our 85% attention to the first 5 minutes of the presentation. Then it suddenly drops during listening to the presenter. Your mission, as a presenter, is to keep your audience moving away from the valley.
So, how can you start to captivate an audience in a presentation?
When we talk about any form of speech, you need to maintain this clear three-part structure: introduction, body, and conclusion.
A powerful introduction: It’s the most important part of your presentation.
Your audience will decide if you are that great to spend their time listening to you, or if they need to find the closest exit, even if it’s their phones. So, to captivate your audience from the start, you must start with its introduction. This must be compelling, and briefly sum up what you are going to talk about, and why they should listen to you.
A well-designed body: after you successfully grab your audience’s attention. The main ideas of your presentation need to spark. Make your presentation based on facts, recent studies, and it would also be great if you add some spices such as quotes, pep talks, and percepts.
An inspiring conclusion: get it as specific as you can. If you want to captivate your listeners, then show them how they can effortlessly get their objectives. So, sum up all you have said in simple tips on how they can practice what they have already learned.
2.- Creative slides to keep your audience’s attention
“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.” — Bruce Garrabrandt.
When it comes to a presentation, all of us -including me, there’s no exception- initially think about PowerPoint and the same basic slides. In fact, most presenters resort to write out all the words they are going to say in their show.
It’s dull. Don’t do that because then your audience would end up distracted by the slides. You would be left alone, and you wouldn’t get the attention you want. Instead, consider adding visual items relevant to your talk track. Keep it short and only add what you really need. In other words, add keywords and try to not use long paragraphs.
Images, even a personal one, seem to be more stimulating. If you want to illustrate your point with recent statistics, don’t put these fuzzy diagrams in your slides. Instead, put only impactful numbers, and give the attendees handouts for protracted studies.
This way they could have a look at that if they are interested. Another important thing, there’s no need to make your presentation more than 10 slides. To always captivate your audience, think about images rather than more words.
3.- Wow your audience with your sophisticated design
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci.
You should care about your presentation design. If you don’t consider hiring a designer, many online tools and websites will help you get a satisfying presentation. Sites such as Unsplash, Canva, and Pexels are a free source of stunning images. BluCactus also can provide you with a priceless design. Colors also are a big deal.
Think about bright colors, but don’t make it tackier by using too many palettes. Two are good enough. Consistency makes your presentation look well-conducted. You need to use only one font and only one size.
4.- Drawings to maintain your audience’s attention, how to keep your audience captivated
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell.
The core of your presentation is to captivate your audience and reach your objectives. To achieve this, you can go on with any method as long as it’ll help you achieve what you’re aiming for. We recommend drawing if you have a whiteboard behind you. Don’t only rely on your slides, take the matter into your own hands… literally. And yeah, I know what you’re going to say…
“I can’t even draw a stick!” Come on!
It’s not about the beauty of your paintings; it’s just about illustrating your ideas. Make even simple lines to get triangles and these hazy characters whose bodies consist of two lines and one circle. It will be perfect to keep your audience captivated with your presentation. Trust me. Don’t talk while drawing. Let your audience imagine what you are going to do. After you finish your drawings, start talking and stand in front of your audience. Then explain what you are doing on the board and bring out your funny side.
5. Captivate your audience in a presentation by telling a story
“I can change the story. I am the story.” – Jeanette Winterson.
We all remember well this presentation as a disabled girl gave us very motivating speech, telling her own story. She was talking about these struggles you thought you never get over. It was so touching. You know why? Because you see it, you feel it. Her stumbling blocks were real, so real.
Stories are the perfect way to capture your audience’s attention and make your message memorable. Start your story with a problem, and finish it with impressive success. If you aspire to keep your audience captivated, you have to be creative and pretentious. You can also use some objectives. Bring up creativity on the stage like costumes, and other visuals.
6- Hold your audience spellbound by being specific
“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” – Colin Powell Blaise Pascal.
You might have large ideas and information you could present to your audience. It could make you more distracted. You start wondering about the most significant ideas you have to consider, and the information you have to exclude. Simplicity always wins. Cut the clutter in your preparation of words. Read your presentation week in, week out. Remove the ballast from your presentation to keep your audience engrossed.
Still feeling stuck!
What about contacting a reliable someone to review your material, practice your presentation in front of him, and get the feedback that helps you be more professional. Maybe it’s your monitor or even your trusted colleague. Do your best to turn your work into authoritative and tenderness at the same time.
7.- Catch your audience’s eyes by being interactive
“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.” – Roy T. Bennett.
As far back as I could remember, I always liked these classes where my teacher or lecturer allowed me to express my opinion and pushed me to share ideas with my colleagues. These types of classes were full of enthusiasm for it aroused our curiosity. And now it’s your turn to entice your listeners. Select a few participants and ask them about their expectations for this session.
Write a list of all them on the whiteboard. Once in a while, check your list and remove what you would have already done. If you have almost concluded and still there were uncovered points, don’t worry. Apologize for the tight schedule; promise to keep in touch if anyone wants your assistance. Sounds good! You can even invite a few other attendees to get on the stage to talk about any relevant story. But be careful; don’t force them to do that; make it seem natural.
If you find that your audience is not engaging as you crave, start using your magic. For instance, tell them that they are going to participate in a competition, and you will reward the winner with a prize. Although, you have to come up with a concrete plan of when you let everyone talk, and when your time comes on because if you allow everyone to speak anytime, it would be squandering time.
8.- Well prepared to keep your audience connected to you
“You make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” – Steve Jobs. Of course, you have never forgotten the test you went through without studying, got stuck there, and couldn’t find the correct answer.
You tried to cheat, got lost, and eventually messed up. If I have learned one thing through my life, it’s the power of practice. You could never be a better writer without practicing writing. A professional musician could never achieve this without practicing. Therefore, you could never do a remarkable presentation without rehearsing what you are going to talk about before standing before your audience.
You might think that I am overqualified. I can swiftly do anything. But that’s not right at all. You only need to believe in your endless skills. You are unique. Find out your distinct voice over time. You can create a compelling presentation. However, if you have to make a presentation tomorrow, that’s the time for BluCactus.
We can make it easy, clear, and still irresistible for you. Check out our offers. We are always there for you.
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