How to Make a Presentation Fun

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Before you plan the fun, plan the Basics

  • As obvious as this might sound caring about your presentation topic in important. Be sure that you understand:
    • Why you are presenting and
    • What you want to achieve at the end
  • Ask yourself the important questions to help you understand:
    • Why is this presentation important?
    • What are you going to tell your audience that they don’t already know?
  • If you were in the audience for this presentation, what would make it worth your while to hear it?
    • New information?
    • New ideas?

The more thought you give to these questions, the better your presentation will be.

Involve Your Audience

Listening to anyone just talk for 20 minutes is no fun.

You are holding the presentation, but that doesn’t mean your audience should only hear from you. Audiences always appreciate feeling involved

If you are standing on a stage, there’s nothing stopping you getting off the stage and walking around through the audience as you present.

Pick people at random to read out a slide or explain a point.

Encourage your audience to think actively about the subject you’re presenting on.

Ask questions

Most standard talks include a Q&A period and you don’t want to face dead silence!

The two minute warning

Here is a trick to keep that Q&A session lively. Two minutes before you are through, say this: “I’d like to move to my final point before taking your questions … so start thinking about your questions now.”
This gives the audience a task and a signal that they need to formulate a question now. This trick works with every audience except college undergraduates. People who ask questions are keeping the rest of the class from leaving the room so it normally doesn’t happen in a college classrom! 🙂

Mark Schaefer

Ask open ended questions

Asking the audience “Does anyone have any questions?” is good manners, but often met with stony silence too!

Try asking your audience open ended questions like “What’s the most difficult or frustrating aspect of this new information for you?”

Surprise Your Audience

  • Play music as an intro, or even during your presentation. Add music files onto your PowerPoint slides, or even play music off your iPod/iPhone.
  • Play funny YouTube clips to illustrate a point in your presentation. FunnyTV commercials and even small grabs of funny movies or TV shows can work well to reinforce a point in a fun way.
  • Ask people questions and give out small prizes for correct answers. It’s amazing what people in an audience will do for a free Chocolate.
  • Put questions you want your audience to answer inside a bowl and have them choose questions at random. You could put questions under seats.
  • If you need to distribute reading materials, choose two people to hand them out to the group for you – in exchange for compliments.

In Closing

  • Plan an interactive opening, using questions, asking for a show of hands, etc.
  • Ask participants to introduce themselves
  • Ask participants to write down their burning questions before you begin.

OR

  • Do a paper or online survey prior to the meeting to engage them in thinking before they arrive.
  • Most of all, approach your next presentation with an attitude of curiosity and fun. Engage early and often. Make the people connection first, then focus on the content.

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