People don’t fall asleep during conversations with you (hopefully not) so why do they fall asleep during your presentations? The answer is simple – you are not having a conversation with them.Here are some guidelines for you to become more engaging and effective the next time you have to speak or make a presentation:

  • Know your audience – Try to obtain a list of attendees to look-up their bios using the various social media resources available.
  • Create a conversation instead of a monologue – research social media feeds about the event and find out what those attending are talking about.
  • Connect with the audience on a personal level – walk the room and introduce yourself, ask why they are attending and what their concerns or questions are relating to the topic you are presenting.
  • Do some research online – If you’re presenting to an industry group or association, check-out their website, past newsletters, or member blogs. If you are presenting to a company, read its annual report, visit their website or follow the organization on social channels.
  • Leave the podium – Podiums kill energy and can make you look like a politician or like you are hiding something. People will open up more and connect if you move to where they are.
  • Conduct a survey or poll of the audience in advance to identify their top challenges or questions that you can address during your presentation.
  • Make yourself interesting, appealing and credible – Consider your appearance and what you should or should not wear or do to gain credibility in order to be viewed as an authority. I recall an association meeting that I attended where the presenter was addressing a group of professional sales people and showed up in the bright plaid shirt and stood behind the podium for his entire presentation all the time touting his experience and ability to make us all more professional and successful.

These are all very simple guidelines that will take your presentation to the next level and make you stand out. Do your homework and you will be remembered for all of the right reasons!