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Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

5 Ways to Energize Your Presentations

by Guila Muir

What’s the difference between presenting and training? Think about it. Presentations are usually delivered one way, from speaker to audience. Their primary role is to deliver information.

Training sessions, on the other hand, not only build skills, but are interactive. Participants do things in training. They talk to each other and to the trainer. They engage their minds and bodies. They are no longer passive recipients of information.

To spruce up your presentations, try using a hybrid model. Inject training techniques to bring your presentations alive.

5 Ways to Make Your Presentations More Interactive

  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.)
  • Interrupt yourself periodically and challenge participants to give examples of the concepts presented thus far or to answer “spot-quiz” questions.
  • 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.

Guila Muir is a premiere trainer of trainers, facilitators, and presenters. Since 1994, she has helped thousands of professionals improve their training, facilitation, and presentation skills. Find out how she can help transform you from a boring expert to a great presenter: www.guilamuir.com


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