Death By PowerPoint: The Advantages Of Interactive Presentations

Interactive Presentations

We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. Feeling every ounce of energy slowly being sucked out by listening to somebody drone along to a PowerPoint presentation. “How many slides are there?” “Twenty. Wait, let me squint. Oh no there are forty.”

This is the cue to pull out your phone and refresh Instagram thirty times or make several trips to the bathroom. In fact, a study by Indiana University revealed that the average adult pays attention for about 15 to 20 minutes before their mind begins to wander. This is when your audience start to sport a glazed look. A study by MCI also showed that 39% of listeners at business presentations admitted to falling asleep at some point. We’ve all witnessed someone take a quick nap.

The whole point of presenting is to make meaning and it’s true that passion leads to attention which then leads to action. This cannot be achieved when your audience is severely disconnected because your slides are crammed full of texts and charts or because you are speaking at them. Audience interaction is key to success.

There is technology now available that enables audience interaction. They usually sport great visual aids to enrich what you are talking about. Business presentation software is designed to provide animated and exciting presentations with the aim to capture the audience’s attention. Use visual mind maps and ask questions to turn dull slides into a dynamic user experience.

With interactive presentation software, you can share what’s on your screen with other tablets and platforms which then allow your audience to filter out what they do not want to know and concentrate on what does interest them. You can back-up all your hard work on your cloud server. This not only provides instant security, but also easy access for your audience when they want it.

Forward With Interactive Presenting

  • You are providing a hands-on approach. In fact, it’s been almost 25 years since PowerPoint was first launched. How much has technology advanced in 25 years? It may be time to move forward from PowerPoint too. You are now able to create real user experiences.
  • You can target other senses. You won’t just be talking at a brick wall. Interactive presentations are going to stimulate a whole bunch of other senses, enabling your audience to really get involved.
  • Time is money and you are going to be saving a lot of both. Interactive presentations will allow your audience to browse to the bits that interest them and come back to them when they need to.
  • You can embed your videos and Flash. Your audience are likely to become a little more attentive with a video. No more of that awkward wait for your video to load up only to find it crashes and your audience promptly fall back into a slumber.
  • Live data from real-time feeds. You won’t have to lift a finger. Automatic updates will grace your screen. People are interested by the latest news and information.

Interactive presentations are vital. They are used for a range of purposes such as training, marketing, education and entertainment. They have to be great to create lasting impressions with clients and audiences. They are more effective in introducing new ideas, services and subjects. This isn’t to say you should forget the basics about presenting.

The Rules You Should Always Apply

  • Determine your message: Don’t’ spend so much time setting up the presentation so it includes every figure and every feature. Keep it simple but to the point.
  • Analyse you audience: Think about who you are presenting to. Every age group and every career will be made up of different people and so presenting with a focus on what your audience wants is key.
  • Organise you information: In a way that is going to cause impact. Visuals, multi-platforms and a range of other features are at your fingertips. Utilise them. Create a better experience face-to-face and on the web.
  • Practice makes perfect: It really does, so recite what you have to some friends or family. See if they fall asleep. If they do, change what you have done. If there’s no one around, then talk to some furniture. It works.

Bad presentations lead to bad communication. Bad communication to bad relationships and interaction. All these then lead to a loss of sales or money or training. Keep your purpose alive by keeping your audience alive and use interactive presentations.

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Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.