People sleeping during a presentationEveryone who makes a presentation wants to engage the audience and make their presentation enjoyable and memorable. A good presentation can be a business game-changer if — and only if — you are interesting and noteworthy.

Long Winded

Here are some ways that presenters fail when giving a talk. They are long winded, which will lose your audience quickly. If you make your presentation a test of endurance, you will see attention drop rapidly. Condense your information so it’s easily remembered. Be concise.

Build Rapport

They bypass the opportunity to build rapport, trust and a connection with the audience in the first seconds of the presentation. Even if members of the audience know you, when you take the stage you are considered an authority on your topic. Connect with your audience on an emotional or feeling level. You can achieve this by stating a shocking fact or creating curiosity with a question. Reach out and include your audience with your opening sentence. Keep this part of your presentation brief.

Keep It Simple

You know the K.I.S.S. rule. Keep It Simple, Sweetie! Once you’ve engaged your audience, don’t leap into the abyss of boredom by transitioning into a boring monologue. If you’ve successfully got the crowd curious, keep them happy by being energetic. Make sure your talk has a structure so you won’t stray off the points you are making. Address your points powerfully and move smoothly from one concept to another. Conclude well. If you’ve been able to hold your audience’s attention, make sure to wrap up with a powerful quote or some other compelling finish.

Rambling

Another boring feature is the tirade. Or filibuster. Or a rambling blend of ideas. If your presentation appears to be a mess of information that you threw into a Cuisinart expecting to have a brilliant dialogue with your audience, you’re sadly mistaken. No one likes a mess or to feel you’re abusing their attention to get something off your chest.

Practice

Another great way to bore your audience is to deliver an unpracticed talk. If you’ve not put in the effort to get your presentation to a level of proficiency, it will show.

Body Language

Your audience will be less than appreciative if you annoy them with your body language. Think about presentations that you’ve sat through where the speaker paces from one end of the stage to the other and rarely looks at the audience. Or has some annoying habit like clicking a pen or jingling change in his pocket (harder for women to do this!). Or uses “um” or “so” every other word. Not only is this boring, it’s flat out irritating and distracting.

There is a lot to know about giving an engaging and memorable presentation. It takes practice and work to get those skills to a level of proficiency.

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