Supercharge your Next Presentation

Presentations are an eventuality that most of us experience on a regular occurrence in our professional lives. We witness hundreds of presentations a year with one recurring do you marry data visualisation and audience engagement?

Tom Dally, December 12, 2018

The answer is by keeping it simple.

Here are 4 tips to boost your audience engagement at your next presentation.

  1. Establish a rapport with your audience

Presentations do not need to be formal, regimented affairs. This will just lead to your audience switching off. To combat this, we often suggest using Glisser’s image picker poll straight out the gate to create a relaxed atmosphere. This could be in the form of simply asking the audience member how they are feeling via a set of five emojis or asking them to select their favourite skyline. It is important that this initial poll is not related to the content you’re about to present because it helps create a bond between yourself as the presenter and the audience. It also enables your audience to get fully on-board and comfortable with the event tech before you start the overall theme of the presentation.

  1. Don’t cram your slides full of data

When it comes to data visualisation, we believe in the mantra less is more. The concept of data visualisation is to transform complex data into answers that everyone in the room can understand. It’s also a great idea to create a narrative that fits what you’re displaying with the data. This will help to develop your key thesis and communicate it effectively to your audience.

Granted, for certain data is not appropriate to use a pie chart, but when it comes to live polling with a limited amount of responses available to choose from, a pie chart is a fantastic visualisation that instantly captures and displays the dominant opinion of an audience on a specific topic.

This also applies to other statistical graphs even if they are more complex. Avoid using a kaleidoscope of colours. These do not engage audiences; they only serve as a distraction. If you’re using that many colours, it’s usually a great indication that your visualisation is too complex and it’ll take too long for your audience to digest the information from one slide.

You also want to avoid giving you graphs a 3D effect. Just as 3D never really caught on in mainstream cinema (with the exception of James Cameron’s Avatar), it almost always has an adverse effect. This is because it distorts the perspective, making it more difficult for audience members to identify the relevant information.

  1. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to view the data

We’ve all been in presentations with over 200 people in where you have to crane your neck to view the main screen behind the speaker. This is cumbersome and outdated. By slide sharing your content and data, you’re able to circumvent this pain point, by enabling attendees to view the data via their own personal devices. This also helps when displaying data figures that are far away. You don't want your audience squinting and not understanding your key themes!

In addition to slide sharing, having the opportunity to write personalised digital notes for each content slide adds another dimension in engaging your audience. Because your audience are not required to switch between windows on their devices or look at a handout, they retain 100% concentration on your key message. Each delegate is then able to download their personalised digital notes along with the content from the presentation post-event, ready to be turned into action going forward.

Digital note taking also serves as a brilliant engagement metric for the presenter and event organisers. Whilst it does not provided you with the information of who wrote what, it does indicate the level of engagement across the board for your audience and helps you to shape future content for your next presentation.

  1. Create an active dialogue with your audience

The majority of presentations are a one way street of information. This creates a major roadblock. By getting your audience members actively participating during your presentation creates a bilateral communication flow. This will lead to more effective presentations improving the overall experience for your audience. Glisser’s Q&A provides the platform for the audience and the presenter to engage in a healthy discussion, helping to disseminate key messages. By crowd-sourcing questions, it ensures topics discussed during the presentation are relevant and beneficial to the audience.

If you don't get around to answering all the questions and have captured the email addresses of your audience, you are then in a position to respond to each question post-event!

In Conclusion

Presentations are often overly complicated. By keeping your message simple and on point, your audience will enjoy a far better experience. Don’t over complicate it unnecessarily. Stick to the four tips above. Your presentations will be more successful and engaging.


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