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How to make your Seminar / Presentation Interesting

How to make a Presentation Interesting
Presenting a seminar is a great opportunity to share your knowledge with a group of people. Many of us may feel it difficult when it comes to public speaking or being at the center stage, facing a crowd. The right way of preparation and practice can overcome most of the hurdles that you may come across in your presentation. Grabbing the attention of your audience's for a long time is one of the biggest challenges that you may come across.

When your presentation becomes boring, people start surfing their mobile phones or having conversation with their neighbours. So before you start planning for your next presentation, try to understand the audience's expectations in terms of content and time frame. Understanding the expectations of the audience makes many things pretty easier.

15 Fabulous Tips to make a Presentation / Seminar Interesting

There may be a lot of things that runs through your mind when you listen to a presentation. But, what if you are the next one to present a seminar in front of a huge crowd. There are lots of people who get nervous even thinking about facing a crowd or even taking the center stage. Here we are with few DO'S & DON'TS when it comes to presentations. Follow these simple rules to excel in your next seminar...
1. Plan from the Audience’s Perspective
Plan and Organise
The first question that pops into your mind may be... How & Where to start?
The best answer to that question might be to think from the audience's perspective.
  • What are the audience curious about?
  • What would excite the auidence's mind?
  • How much awareness does the audience already have about the topic?
  • How can they connect with the topic easily?
  • What is the most interesting part in your presentation?
2. Organize your Content
Organize your Content
Conceptualizing and framing what you want to convey is the most crucial part of preparation. Do proper research about your topic and figure out all the important points regarding your topic. List out all the points and try to collect all essential materials required for your presentation. Organize your topics in a sequential manner and if in case you are using a Power Point Presentation, organize your slides too.

Surfing and searching for slides during presentation would leave a bad impression on the audience, as they may feel that you are not well-prepared. Arranging your slides with reference to your topic would help you save a lot of time. Make sure to keep the idle time to a minimum, otherwise it may distract people to other matters or even have chit-chat with their neighbours.
3. The Ice Breaker
Ice Breaking Games
Each and every one who attends your presentation has a completely different mood and it could be anything from starting a day badly, driving through a hectic traffic or even other personal matters at home or office. A simple ice-breaker could energize their minds and help them to forget everything else and to focus on the present moment.
A short and simple warm-up exercise like a game or a riddle could do the trick. You can also start with a general straight forward question that would reset their minds and also help them to focus on your talks. It would also turn your audience from just being listeners to being active participants.

There are different kinds of ice-breakers such as thought-provoking ice-breakers, fun ice-breakers, silly ice-breakers etc to choose from. You can pick the best according to your scenario.
4. Who am I & What is today's topic
Introduce Yourself
The first mistake new presenters do, is directly jumping into the main topic. At first, take time to give a brief introduction about yourself. Let them know your name, what you do, where you come from, etc. The crowd would pay more attention when they know that you are an expert on the subject you are going to present. So take your own time and introduce yourself well, before you step into your topic.

The crowd in front of you may be from different backgrounds. Some may already be familiar with your topic and some completely new to it. Providing a brief introduction about your presentation would be a good idea to start with.
5. KISS & Make it Interesting
Keep it Interesting with Stories
Story telling is one of the best ways to attract your audience's mind. Find an interesting story that would connect your subject which could easily create curiosity in your audience. It would make your audience anxious to know what would happen next. After doing research over hundreds of TED Talks, Nancy Duarte found that story telling is the most universal way to attract and hold the attention of your listeners.

KISS (Keep it Short & Simple)
Planning is one of the most important aspects which is required to deliver a great presentation. First of all, collect all the necessary details about your topic and list it out. Ignoring unnecessary points is as important as adding all the necessary points. Always remember not to make your presentation too long and boring. In short, try to keep it simple as possible...
6. Eye Contact & Stage Presence
Maintain Eye Contact
The power of keeping eye contact with your audience can do wonders in terms of communication, may it be an infant or an elderly person. It gives you a strong lively presence and it would also help you in delivering your points effectively. Always keep in mind not just to focus on one person as others might feel ignored. People might feel awkward and also become nervous if you keep on staring at them, so be sure not to make them feel nervous. Keeping an eye contact also gives the audience the feeling that you are directly interacting with them.

Physically being onstage can be the most difficult part when it comes to a live presentation. One of the common mistakes that we see, is that people move too much. Swaying hands from side to side, or shift their weight from one leg to the other can distract people and also makes an impression that the presenter is weak. People with the ability to walk around a stage during a presentation is fine, but only if it comes naturally.
7. Voice Modulation, Content & Body Language
Voice Modulation and Body Language
Communication is not just words. Body language is the unspoken part of communication which provides a great impact to reveal our true feelings. Gestures & postures play a vital role in conveying a message. Many nervous presenters hide their body behind the podium. Be strong while presenting and make sure that your body & gestures are clearly visible. Right gestures and moving around the stage make you seem more confident which would automatically engage the audience.
Voice modulation is yet another powerful tool which would help you appear more confident on the stage. The right pace and modulation of your tone makes the speech more effective & powerful. Always remember to avoid offensive words & gestures.
Examples of Great Body Language:
  • Use hand gestures when delivering key points
  • Never keep your arms & legs crossed
8. Value of Good Humor
Use your Humor
Humor helps you to cheer up the audience. Cracking few jokes can easily enlighten the mood of the crowd and it also helps you to build a nice rapport with them. Everyone loves happy moments and cheerfully presented ideas and thoughts that stick to their mind for a very long time.

People also connect it well when you share your personal experiences and funny moments. If you see the audience feeling low or if you feel they are not energetic, you can also try cracking jokes on the crowd but make it sure not to offend them.
9. Effect of Using Props
Using Props for Presentations
Props also can be very effective at times as it helps the audience to absorb what you are conveying. Displaying props at the right time helps the attendees to visualize what you are describing. For example, while explaining about touch screen devices, showing a smart phone to the audience would be more effective than just explaining about it verbally or even displaying a photo over the projector.

In 2009, Mr. Bill Gates lifted up a glass jar full of mosquitoes during his TED Talks titled Mosquitoes, Malaria, and Education. After lifting up the jar he said "Now, malaria is of course transmitted by mosquitoes. I brought some here, just so you could experience this."
10. The Power of Smile
Keep Smiling
Never underestimate the power of a smile during a presentation. Smile spreads positivity to our audience. It is another form of expression to communicate our openness and also helps the crowd to stay in a positive state of mind. Audience always want to see a happy and charismatic speaker rather than a dull face.

Smile during your presentation
  • Appears as a symbol of cool factor.
  • Helps you connect with the audience in a better way.
  • Calms both your body and your mind.
11. Visual Impact with Videos
Videos to create Visual Impact
Youtube has 1.7 billion+ unique monthly visitors with 6,94,000 hours of videos streamed every minute. Now you can imagine how much impact does videos create on us. Make use of short videos to keep your viewers engaged. You can use the help of videos to clarify things which is quite difficult to explain. Make sure you add the right video clips which would bring the viewers to good mood and that they would easily remember.

12. Keep the Audience Engaged
Engage your Audience
People often get distracted with the slightest of things, may it be a gesture from a neighbour or a message tone from a mobile. It is found that the attention of people in a seminar drops within 10 minutes after the presentation begins. Having soft breaks in between helps you to draw back their lost attention. Shoot up a couple of questions and try to interact with your audience to keep them engaged.

Performing live polls is an amazing way to instantly engage your audience. Polls not only make the participants to think over your question but also make them think about what other people's thought would be.

Make sure that the attendees understand each segment of your presentation. Presenting the outline of the topic at the beginning can really help.
13. Give some Audience Time
Give some Audience Time
Keep engaging people time to time by letting them shoot questions and clear their doubts. Try to pick audience at random, so that even shy people get a chance to participate in discussions.

Share the Dais
Sharing your Dias with your audience or other presenters to express their experiences about your subject could make the entire seminar more interactive. People with different view points on the same subject can help the audience to explore new areas in a completely different manner.
14. Concluding your Talk
Concluding your Talk
By now, you might have already spoken about several points on your topic. People might have been overflown with numerous data, facts and figures. Always ask them if they require further clarification on any particular topic.

You want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said when the seminar is concluded. So end your seminar focusing on the most important facts again by bringing them on to a single Powerpoint Slide.
15. Practice, Practice & more Practice
Practice makes things perfect
You may be familiar with the proverb - Practice makes a man perfect

Use the simple technique of standing in front of the mirror and practicing your speech. You can try out different things such as working on your body postures, trying out various voice modulation, tuning your accent, controlling pauses in between sentences, facial expressions etc.

Another most important thing is to assess the time of your presentation so that you don't run out of time or rush too fast.

Tips to create a wonderful PowerPoint Presentation (PPT)

PowerPoint has become an absolutely essential medium to deliver information while presenting it in your college or office. PPT's are hassle free as it is very easy to combine text, images and videos. There are many ways in which you can make your Powerpoint Presentation interesting.
Try to follow the simple tips to create a really good Powerpoint Presentation
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