Cloud presentation tools are convenient platforms to develop and share slideshow presentations. But these tools themselves are not enough to make a compelling presentation. Here are a handful of tips to take your cloud presentation to the next level by engaging audiences.
1. Understand the Benefits of Your Presentation for Your Audience
It’s important to realize that presentations are a huge time sink, unless relevant and valuable to your audience. Be sure to assess the benefits of your presentation and make it clear to your audience. After all, you don’t want people leaving your talk thinking, when will we ever use this?
2. Ask Audience Members to Submit Questions Before Your Talk
Having your audience members share questions before your presentation is a great way to understand what is most concerning to them and figure out how to best address it during your presentation. Cut down on the guess work. Ask for preliminary thoughts via email, online voting or ballot box.
3. Open with Icebreaker Questions
Icebreaker, or “get to know you,” questions are an excellent way to engage audiences from the very beginning. Poll questions included in your cloud presentation, for example Google Slides, can range from the serious to the silly. Whatever works to get your audience involved from the get go. For a more interactive icebreaker session, you can even use Google Slides Chrome extensions like Poll Everywhere, which allows presenters to integrate polls into their presentations and gather responses through mobile phones. With better participation, you’ll have more to talk about as you ease into the presentation.
4. Share a Personal Anecdote
Audiences love feeling connected. Share a personal story to make yourself relatable.
5. Present a Question/Problem for Your Presentation to Solve
Using your presentation to introduce a problem and solve it adds legitimacy to your talk. Don’t just mention a problem, use a story to illustrate it.
6. Add Humor, but Don’t Force It
Everyone feels more comfortable after a light-hearted chuckle. Add a little humor to your presentation if you can, but avoid stiff, awkward or forced humor. That can only do more harm than good.
7. Include Multimedia
Including images or video clips from experts, clients, partners or customers will deepen the impact of your cloud presentation. Stick with high-quality content. Cheesy clip art lacks professionalism and will be distracting to attendees.
8. Add a Word Cloud
Word clouds are a trendy way to visualize conversations happening during your conference. Images are composed of words, sized by frequency or importance and sourced from polling software or social media.
9. Break into Small Groups
Want your audience to interact with each other? Develop questions for small group discussions. Have each group share their answers and the process they used to come up with their solution.
10. Hand Out Worksheets
Encourage note taking. Many speakers create worksheets with blanks to help audiences follow along during their talk.
11. Invite Participants on Stage
Don’t be afraid to go off script. If someone has a question or suggestion, allow them to come on stage to share their thoughts.
12. Get ‘Em Moving
Are your listeners getting a little antsy? Time to get physical. Ask them to raise their hands or stand up in response to certain questions. Maybe ask them to walk around and shake hands with someone they don’t already know. Anything to get the blood moving again.
13. End on a High Note
You made it to the end. Congratulations! But it’s crucial that your audience leaves feeling motivated. Include a call to action, something tangible they can do that was inspired by your presentation.
Be sure to leave your contact info on the last page of your Google Slides to allow future interactions. Welcome feedback or the opportunity for networking.
14. Add a Closing Poll or Quiz
See how much the audience was listening with a quiz or simple poll. You could, for example, ask if your presentation has changed anyone’s mind: A) Yes, totally B) Maybe a little C) Not at all.
15. Pro Tips
- Be Passionate: Audiences will only be as passionate as you are. Show conviction.
- Slides Are Just a Backup: Reading directly off your slides will bore audiences to tears. Don’t be afraid to improvise.
- Pause: Before moving to the next point, pause and ask your audience if they understand. It’s a great way to ensure everyone is listening, and it allows for additional questions.
- Pay Attention to Detail: People are easily distracted, and poorly edited or poorly designed presentations can derail your presentation.
With these tips, you can be sure your next presentation will leave your audience informed and satisfied.