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Breaking Boring: Making Dull Presentations More Engaging

Let’s face it. When done poorly, a presentation can be very boring to sit through. Be it because of bland slide design, uninspired content or monotone delivery. Dullness can kill both a presentation and a business. The harsh reality is that delivering a boring presentation is a trap that most people don’t realize they are fall inside off.

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As presentation experts, we believe any deck is capable of being engaging and effective. As the old saying by G.K. Chesterton goes: “There are no boring subjects, only disinterested minds.” With enough practice and know-how, anyone can develop the skills to deliver attention-grabbing presentations to advance their business. Here are some tips to help in beating out boring:

Ask questions, questions, questions

Pique the interest of your audience by playing with their curiosity. Start your speech by asking a thought-provoking question. An example would be, “How can I ‘wow’ someone with my presentation?” By directly addressing your audience, it immediately engages them into the topic at hand while establishing a connection between you and them. You can use that first question to guide your overall presentation by structuring your content to slowly provide the answer as you go along.

However, you should not be the only one asking questions in the room. Present information in such a way that it encourages your audience to ask questions themselves to help further feed their curiosity.

Laugh it up

Never doubt the power of a good laugh. When it’s appropriate, feel free to inject your presentation with a little humor. This can be as simple as a quip or a pop culture reference. These jokes can help break a monotonous flow and add a nice flavor to your presentation. It also helps your audience be relaxed and comfortable with you as the speaker. Delivering a joke that lands a good reaction will leave a nice impression on your audience, making your presentation more memorable.

The value of developing good comedic timing goes beyond work. Humor will always be a good trick to fall back on to brighten up most dull situations.

Be photo-friendly

The fastest way to grab your audience’s attention is to give them a visual treat. Replace typical blocks of text and countless numbers with photos and images to illustrate your points. This takes advantage of the fact that people are naturally drawn to remember distinct visual cues. Also, being more visually-oriented gives you the space to speak freely to your audience, as you are not caught up with reading through too much text on the slides.

Another tip would be to practice utilizing colors in your slide design that complement the overall feel of your presentation. This harmony of color and content can garner a greater emotional response from your audience.

Stay fresh

When crafting the content of your presentation, it’s important to boil the information down to what’s fresh and most relevant to your audience. Presenting dated or derivative content is a sure-fire way to lose your audience’s attention. Make sure to study your content well enough to be able to discern its more interesting points that will spark the minds of your audience.

In the case of presenting content that’s mundane, such as market reviews and quarterly data, add a twist to things by providing a new context or perspective. This way you can still deliver a feeling of newness to an otherwise routine presentation.

While your subject matter may not always be the most glamorous, that’s no excuse for your presentations to not be interesting. When given the chance to make an impact on your business, never settle on a presentation that’s just adequate.

The next time your presentation needs a boost, give us a call! It’s our pleasure, and expertise, to clean up presentations of every kind of boring. We’ll have you ready to deliver an engaging presentation the next time you step in front of an audience.

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Make It Pop: Utilizing Color Theory in Your Presentations

More than making the world look stylish, colors impact the way we understand visual information all around us. We know that a green light means go, a blue sky means a pleasant day and a brown banana means it’s probably time to throw that out. Because colors can say so much at just a glance, choosing the right ones is always a crucial decision a PowerPoint specialist must make.

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When delivering a presentation, you’ll want to keep your audience engaged with captivating visuals. People are more likely to remember distinct visual stimulants than blocks of text or rambling speeches. Color theory is one of the foundations of graphic design. Knowing how to utilize colors effectively is key to making your presentations more impactful. It’s the first step to becoming a more refined presentation specialist.

Set the mood

You may not realize it every time, but colors have the power to evoke a wide range of emotions. Warm colors can have you feeling excited and optimistic while cool colors give an impression professionalism and elegance. This subliminal effect on our minds is something not all visual mediums are capable of. Whether you’re designing a PowerPoint presentation, brochures/handouts or infographics, applying colors that match the mood and tone of your content can add more depth to the story you wish to tell.

Make information pop

Most of the fun in understanding color theory comes from experimenting with different color combinations to achieve the most effective design. By playing with contrasting or complementary colors, you can easily draw your audience’s attention to any slide’s most important piece of information. This way you can ensure the information flows out naturally to the eyes of your audience.

Build structure

Apart from simply coloring your fonts and backgrounds, colors can create a clear structure to your slides. Using shapes, lines or negative space, you can further take control of the flow of information by distinguishing sections your audience can easily understand. As a presenter, structuring your slides will aid your mental flow as well.

Contrast and complement

As mentioned earlier, playing with contrasts and compliments can greatly impact the flow of information in your presentations. It’s important to know which colors pair well with one another to effectively bring out the information most relevant to your audience. Developing this skill will ultimately make your presentations feel much easier on the eyes.

Keep things simple

When it comes to design, it’s best to keep it simple and balanced. Having less can mean much more. Choose a palette of three to four distinct colors and you should be all set. Maintaining that palette helps build color association for your audience the further you get through your presentation. Color coding elements like headers or data makes filtering through information quicker and easier.

The 60-30-10 rule

This rule has its roots in interior design but its basic philosophy can be applied to various other fields of design. It’s a matter of knowing how to portion your colors in a certain space: 60% for primary colors, 30% for secondary and 10% for accents. By assigning colors according to importance, it makes distinguishing sections of each slide easier for you to design.

One more thing. Any presentation expert will tell you, don’t forget to dress accordingly! Try color coordinating your outfit with the palette of your slides. This detail will add a nice touch in making your overall presentation be more memorable.

Still need some help? Colors can be tricky. There is always more than meets the eye. If you feel like you’re at an impasse in your presentation design, just give us a call. We can help you give your slides an extra bit of “oomph!”

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