Hey, don’t kill the messenger, I didn’t make this up. A study by Polleverywere found that there were 35 Million PowerPoint presentations given each day to an audience of over 500 Million people. And the sad part? 79% of them said that the presentations were: you guessed it-boring. And I have more bad news: the audience tuned out the presentation on average after just 10 minutes! What’s a business owner to do? Especially being stuck in a Zoom hell during the pandemic? Well, here are 5 tips to wake up your next Zoom presentation.
Ditch The Slides
One of the first things I learned during the pandemic was to dump the long powerpoint slides out of any training that I was doing live. Radical simplicity is key in the ‘new normal’. People are bored to death of slides. They are bombarded by information. What they’re missing is you. The experience of you. You can give it to them if you are there on the screen, front and centre in front of them. It’s terrifying at first but believe me, once you get used to it, it works like a charm. I haven’t used slides in my last 10 conference talks or live stream trainings.
Whether you’re presenting in-person or online, having an interactive presentation is the most certain boredom-buster that I know of. How do you do that? Well, you make sure that people are participating in your presentation by actively asking them to do things. Ask them questions, make them do tasks. Use them to take centre-stage in your demos. Some people will expire of heart-attacks at the thought while others will line up for it. But everyone will wake up. Do something out of the box.
Use Zoom Tricks
Using zoom tools such as the polls and the ‘hand-up’ feature also work well in waking people up. When we first start a presentation on Zoom, we ask audience members to pick the most expensive problem they have around their marketing (because I’m a marketing coach). Once the votes are in, we display the responses. This makes people feel heard/seen and also informs the rest of my presentation content. It’s a win-win. Also, the ‘hands-up’ thing is kind of redundant since people can literally raise their hands in the screen but every little bit of asking the audience to participate is a win in the fight to keep their attention on you and your presentation.
If Slide Needed
If you absolutely positively can’t let go of the slide deck in your presentation because you have to present detailed information or it’s a formal setting, then include infographics instead of bullet forms on your slides. Instead of words, use pictures of human emotion to convey your message (as much as your content will allow it). Lastly, follow the 6×6 per slide rule of thumb, where you’re supposed to have only 6 words per 6 lines of copy per each page. Considering that the average powerpoint presentation contains 40 words, you will be head and shoulders above other presenters who are boring their audiences to sleep.
My last tip on how to stop boring your audiences is to bring in live guests to your presentation. Beware that sharing the spotlight with someone who doesn’t complement or strengthen your offer is not a good guest. I often bring past or current clients to give testimonials on how they achieved their success using the same principles that I’m teaching in that very same presentation.
So, if you want to be in the minority of presenters who are keeping their audiences alert and engaged, implement some of the above advice and you’ll never have to wake up another member of your audience who is snoozing again.