Hey so I want to talk about a really importa… Squirrel, Squirrel … oh yea where was I?
Dug from the movie “Up”
Ah, distractions by shiny objects, there are so many, especially in this world of pop-ups, modals and 5 second sound-bytes. If you are a presenter with important information to convey and you want your audience to listen, how do you compete with the world of Facebook, YouTube and, Snapchat?
I admit, keeping anyone’s attention is becoming increasingly tough. Especially if you are presenting over the web via a live webcasting tool. You know the drill; It’s 8:30AM, you have been instructed by your boss to watch this important webcast. You log on, turn the volume to a barely audible level, minimize the webpage and proceed to fire up Amazon to find that cool new tennis racquet you saw last week.
Keeping Users Focused on Your Webcast
Competing with internet and all its “surfability” can take the wind out of the best presentation. But there are a few basic do’s and don’ts to keep your audience watching or, at the very least, listening.
- Keep it Short: If you can’t say it in 30-45 minutes; break your meeting into 2 broadcasts. The attention span of an average adult is about 6 minutes and it declines exponentially after 25 minutes. Chop out the unnecessary stuff and focus on the big points.
- Involve the audience: Even in live meetings this is great advice (see my other article here). Polling, Gamification, Feedback Pulse or a simple lottery. All of these items will bring your audience back into focus, and you can keep them there if you sprinkle these throughout your presentation.
- Use Video: People now watch everything. Netflix, Youtube, Facetime – it is really getting crazy but we are addicted. We can’t look away, we need to see it to believe it and with the new advents in live video streaming, using video in your presentations will keep your viewers… well, watching.
- Use pictures in your presentation: Again we love our visuals. Talking about a topic while a related picture is on the screen is worth a thousand words. Use photos that don’t require explanation and make sure you give credit where credit is due.
What Makes a Great Presentation?
My father-in-law once told me that there are three basic things that make a great presentation: how good the speaker is at public speaking, the content of what is being presented, the physical location of the presentation. I have seen all three work well but I can attest to some presentations where one of the three, executed poorly, brought down the whole presentation.
All in all, there really is no secret to keeping an audience involved and in the moment. Being a lively, excited, entertaining and humorous presenter always trumps a boring, monotone and dull presenter.