When giving a presentation, you want to capture and hold your audience’s attention. But it can sometimes be hard to appeal to everyone. Most of the time, your audience will be comprised of a diverse group of people. You’ll have extroverts who love to express their opinions. You’ll have analytical people who wish you would stick to the facts. And you’ll have people who only get engaged when the focus is on personal stories, feelings, and relationships. How can you please them all?

According to author Dana Dupuis, it is possible to cover all the bases and connect with your entire audience. To do so, she suggests that you include the following elements in your presentation:

  • Data – Start your presentation with some statistics, charts, or figures. You don’t need to linger over them. You just need to show your audience some hard data. Without it, you’ll lose your analytical people before the presentation really gets started.
  • Stories – Tell your audience a relevant story. It could be about yourself or about other people that you’ve encountered in your life. Stories are compelling, and they should help to capture the attention of a large portion of your audience. (And if you can weave some facts and figures into your story, that’s even better! Your story will become even more relevant and compelling.)
  • A focus on benefits – Make sure to talk about how your presentation information can benefit your audience. Why should they listen or care? How can it help them? You need to make this clear in order to keep your audience engaged.
  • Open-ended questions – During your presentation, you should periodically ask your audience open-ended questions. (These are the kind of questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” to answer.) This will give the people who love to participate a chance to voice their thoughts and opinions. And it will help to make your entire presentation more relevant, engaging, and interactive.

 

Dupuis, D. (2019). Shhhh! Listen. Talent Development, 73(2), 65-68.

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