25 juli 2019   252   9 min

Don’t lose the attention of your audience | 5 tips!

There you are, standing in front of a large audience trying to get your message across. It’s an important meeting, because you want to convince the audience of your ideas, so you have been preparing this presentation for weeks. Up till this moment, the presentation has been smooth and the audience is listening carefully and they seem to understand it. So far, so good! But then…this happens:

“In the course of your presentation, you want to show an important video and to play this video you have to walk back to your laptop. During this walk you lost already 30% of the audience. Once returned to your laptop, you click on the link and press ‘play’. You are struggling, because the video does not play right away... So it takes a while before the video starts. As soon as you walk back to your presentation, there is a lot of buzz. People are talking to each other and it takes a lot of effort to get the attention back. Besides that, the video is already playing. You're thinking: "If only I'd tested this in advance”. Unfortunately, it's too late for that now. At the end of your presentation, you notice not everyone has grasped the last part of your presentation... A real pity, right?”

The above is one of the examples how you can easily lose the attention of the audience. Luckily, there is a way to prevent this from happening. Here are five indispensable ways to keep the attention of your audience during a presentation.

1. Be an actor, believe in your role

If you don’t believe in your own story, how do you expect your audience to do so? Nothing inspires more than telling a story you believe in. Do you dare to make it personal? Go for it! Of course, only if the context allows for some storytelling. Try to avoid topics in your presentation that you doubt or embrace them so you can justify yourself.

Also, always try to prevent the number 1 and 2 on the list of annoyances of audiences, which are using too many stop words, like ‘Uuh’ and ‘Okay’, and turning your back to the audience, because you are reading the text of the slides. Both can easily be prevented by taking the time to practice your story. That’s it? Yes, it really pays off to practice your story aloud.

 

2. Don't let them doubt their own eyes

Nothing can be more annoying than a screen that is not working properly, colors that are not correctly or unreadable texts. Keep an eye on the visibility of your presentation to the audience. Make sure that everything can be easily and clearly seen. Do you want to make sure the quality of the screen is good, just use the latest screens: Newest technologies of e-screens ensure the quality of the screens. This way you no longer need to ask yourself whether the colors are correct of whether the text is readable. Realizing the text is too small on your touchscreen? No problem, just zoom in quickly! The convenience of a touchscreen makes it easy to zoom in and out with just two fingers, easy as that!

3. Visualize it!

To keep the audience triggered, make sure you have an impressive story to tell. Be sure you tell the story in your own words. The combination of text and images always works well in a presentation. But make sure you avoid too many texts. Clarify the story with visual images so you can put down a strong story. Besides that, by visualizing your story you can make sure that the audience does not get distracted. The danger of text-filled slides is that the audience is more  focused on reading than on listening to your story.

 

4. Be interactive, don’t give time to fall asleep!

Avoid listeners from falling asleep during your presentation. Sitting and listening for a long time can lead to losing the audience’s attention quickly. You can create interaction by asking good questions. Write down answers on, for example, a flipchart. From there, you can brainstorm interactively with your audience. The latest techniques make it possible to draw hands-on notes on your screen. Select the pen and make notes in a new tab. Keep the audience involved with the message you want to convey. 

5. Check, check

Prepare your presentation by installing and testing it before you start. As we mentioned in the intro, prevent walking back to your laptop. Interruptions like this can be a trigger to lose a large part of your listeners. People might start talking, scroll through their e-mails or daydream about their next meeting… Is a video link indispensable? Make sure someone can help you from your laptop or just use a touchscreen. By using a touchscreen, you can easily click these links during your presentation without walking back to your laptop.

 

Nowadays you can achieve so much more with the latest technologies of presentation screens. These screens are interactive, which makes your presentation not only more attractive but also more effective. You lose the attention of your audience less quickly because, for example, you do not have to walk back to your laptop to click some external links. In the end, it saves valuable time and your presentation goes a lot smoother.

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