Have you ever sat through a PowerPoint presentation and lost interest because of the speaker’s lack of engagement to the audience? Creating a winning PowerPoint presentation will fail if you do not articulate the highlights and captivate your audience. PowerPoint is a visual tool that should enhance your speech, not the opposite.
Audience engagement is key for a speaker. Public speaking rules apply to the PowerPoint. A successful business PowerPoint should be a conversation with your audience.
Here are a few tips to keep your audience engaged:
Practice the presentation. The information on the PowerPoint is a tool for you as the presenter. Do not read the presentation to the audience. Practice the presentation so you can speak from bullet points and hit on the highlights.
Face the audience. Make and keep eye contact with your audience by facing them. Do not turn your back and try to position yourself to the left of the screen. We read left-to-right and our eyes can easily move from you (on the right) to see what is on the screen (on the left). Remember, you are facing the audience, so your right is their left. We are accustomed in this process, so take advantage of it.
Add energy to your voice. Energize and inject your voice with enthusiasm to give your audience something to get excited about. Don’t be a statue, but add some movement, walk to the screen or to the audience. Smile and let your gestures and voice emphasis come naturally, but do not overdo it either.
Visual + voice = rememberable. You know the ole saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Create your multimedia presentation with bullets, texts, images, graphs, charts and video. The PowerPoint is a visual. Now, bring the slides to life with your voice. Matching the audio and visual adds a more powerful message for your audience to remember.
Have a clear focus. Your first few slides should have a clear introduction that expresses what you will be covering. The same applies for a conclusion slide. Recap your presentation with a slide to summarize what you have covered. Review the bullets and important points. . Build interaction with your audience with questions and make sure they know that they can continue a dialogue with you.
Use smart public speaking techniques to enhance your next PowerPoint presentation.