Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

5 Ways to Energize Your Presentations

What’s the difference between presenting and training?

Presentations are typically delivered one way, from speaker to audience. Great training sessions, on the other hand, are interactive.

To spruce up your presentations, try injecting these five techniques borrowed from active training:

5 Ways to Enliven Your Presentations

  1. Preface your presentation by briefly stating a relevant problem. Ask participants to be ready to solve the problem by the session’s end based on what they’ve learned.
  2. Distribute a list of questions for participants to answer as you present. (By directing participants to listen and search for information covered, you actively engage their attention.)
  3. Ask a relevant question and make it clear you expect the participants to think about it; then have them share their responses with one other person. (Optional: then elicit few of those responses.)
  4. Interrupt yourself periodically and challenge participants to give examples of the concepts presented thus far or to answer “spot-quiz” questions.
  5. Provide a “quickie” self-test either before, during or after the session.

These techniques shift several responsibilities onto the audience, where they belong:

  • the responsibility to learn
  • the responsibility to engage, and
  • the responsibility to remember

However, your responsibilities as a speaker shift a bit, too. You must move from spraying audience members down with an “information hose” to having more of a dialogue.

Be sure to let your audience know what you expect of them before introducing each technique. And don’t let them slide back down into passivity—keep them awake and involved!

Learn about Guila Muir’s Presentation Skills Workshops.


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