Presentation Blues: What to Do When Your Material Falls Flat

Anyone who has any experience giving presentations knows how tough it can be. Aside from handling the nerves and anxiety that often accompany speaking in public, it can be just as challenging to come up with engaging material. Whether your topic is less than exciting or your material doesn’t seem to be resonating with the audience, the good news is there are ways to turn your boring material into a killer presentation. Here are a few tips for getting your audience interested in your topic. 

Start with Why

Before you even open your mouth, your audience members will be thinking to themselves, “Why am I here and why is this important to me?” Your job is simply to answer those questions for them. If you don’t quickly tell your audience why they should care about this topic, then they will get distracted with other things they deem more important. People have a need to find relevance and meaning in everything they do so it’s up to you to show them the reason why they should listen to you. 

Let Your Personality Shine

Great speakers are those who can make the most boring topic seem the most interesting. They do this by engaging the audience with their personality. The material itself is what it is, but you can make that same boring material seem interesting by infusing your personality into everything you say. A few simple rules for showcasing your personality: smile, tell stories, show enthusiasm, be genuine, be yourself!

Interact with the Audience

If you feel like your material is flat, you will have a real challenge in capturing and holding your audience’s attention for the entire presentation. You can keep your audience interested in your material by getting them involved in your presentation. Interacting with your audience will make your presentation more engaging and it will seem more purposeful to the audience. You can interact with your audience by asking questions, inviting people on stage, polling the audience, playing a game, breaking them into small groups, or through the use of social media. 

Welcoming audience participation can boost engagement and help attendees connect with your material. 

Get Creative with Slide Design

Let’s be honest: no one wants to sit through a presentation reading bullet points for 45 minutes to an hour. There are so many great tools available that can help make your slideshow more interesting. Try using more images and less text and keep your slides simple and free from bullet points. Use graphs, charts, videos, and pictures to illustrate your points rather than full sentences. Slides should be uncluttered and simple and the text should be large enough to be seen from the back of the room. 

Relate to Your Audience

Boring material can become more interesting when you find a way to make it relatable. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that people are familiar with find a way to connect the audience with your material. Infuse humor, tell personal stories, and use examples to help your audience visualize the information more clearly.