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Attention Presenters: Here are the Secrets to Holding my Attention in a Presentation

Like many readers of this blog, I go to a lot of conferences and see lots of presentations. Recently, I was chatting with an industry contact about good presentations and I outlined a list of things I believe presenters need to do to capture my attention:

  1. Know your information cold. You should know your topic so well that if there were no projector you could still deliver a solid presentation. If you read every word off your slides you’ve lost me very quickly.
  2. The more pictures, the better! Perhaps this is due to my ADD, but it breaks up the presentation and is aesthetically pleasing.
  3. Please move around, if I wanted to look at a statue, I’d go to a museum. In my opinion, moving around allows you to connect with the room better and humanize your presentation very quickly.
  4. Tell stories…tell lots of stories! To me, this drives home a point and allows me to really think deeper about what you are saying.
  5. 30 seconds about your company. Please don’t make your presentation an infomercial. Yes, you are important. Yes, your company is awesome…but if you spend too much time telling us how great you and your company are, you will do more damage than good and that will be an invitation for most of the room to check Facebook or their email.

Ok, your turn!

  • What do you think of my list?
  • What would you add to my list?
  • What percentage of presentations do you feel hold your attention from start to finish?

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