10 rules for keeping attention at presentation

A great presentation grabs listeners’ attention until the end and encourages them to think. We have selected 10 rules that you must follow to achieve this effect!

1. Content should be worth presenting The content of presentation depends on the type of audience, their knowledge and expectations. You need to know this, and you need to prepare well. Most importantly, content presented should be something new – it must bring fresh information, knowledge, ideas. The quality check: ask yourself if you feel like attending the presentation you prepared.

2. Getting started is key At the beginning of the presentation, listeners are curious about what you have to say. That’s why you have to grab their attention and hold it. But be aware that you only have a short time – if you are boring, attention will decline. Start effectively, in one of the following ways: with powerful and a confident statement, with arousing curiosity, with a joke, with a question – it all works.

3. Shorten what you have to say It is a fact that people can only focus a limited amount of time on a particular topic. We're talking minutes, not hours. Although you think that you cannot squeeze everything in 10, 20 or 30 minutes, still try – you will do a favor to yourself and listeners.

4. Tell stories It's easier to listen to a story than to facts. We dig deeper into the story because it gives meaning to the data and presents it through the real world. Therefore, turn content from your presentation into some form of story that can be real or fictional. Be sure to be interesting and emotional, so maybe involve conflict or challenge.

5. Modulate your voice Some parts of your presentation are more important than others – highlight them by changing your voice several times. Move it up and down; say certain words or sections of text in high, others in bass. Say certain passages in a quieter way (those less important), but when you say the key things, do it loudly. Be sure to avoid the monotony of the voice as it is killing attention.

6. Tell a joke A joke is always welcome; choose it according to your audience. Not all jokes are right for everyone. The proper joke will pause the presentation and bring some fun. Avoid the offensive humor that offends certain groups of people and can ruin the presentation.

7. Move around Moving around the room is an important trick to keep attention of your audience. Listeners get bored if you are too static. Moving around will give them the impression that your presentation is dynamic. They will also experience their role – as you get closer and away from them – to be more active.

8. Don't read! This is one of the most important rules. Reading at your presentation indicates that you are not in control of things. Therefore, you are not convincing. You don't make a real connection with audience - your eye contact, body language and emotional connection are inadequate. That’s why it is important to really master your presentation; it helps if you practice before it.

9. Don't apologize You can't start the presentation with an apology or a series of apologies. Even if listeners surprise you by questions you do not know how to answer. Apologizing creates an uneasy feeling among audience, says you are unprepared and steals everyone's time. No presentation is perfect, so make yourself confident and perform without apologies.

10. Listen to your audience’s opinions Although you are the one in control of the presentation, listeners also have opinions on the content presented. You get more of their attention if you ask them what they think. This is especially effective in opinion-based topics, since in this case it is likely that theirs will be different from yours. In addition, many people can hardly wait to be exposed in a group.

We wish you a successful presentation!


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