Bored panel of judges or interviewers

From Fast Company, Peter Arvai, founder of Prezi, shares four common flaws with presentations.  My two favorites are:

2. YOUR AUDIENCE IS STRUGGLING TO READ AND LISTEN AT THE SAME TIME

Many presentations are full of text- or data-heavy slides that an audience has to read and interpret while listening to what you’re saying.

This doesn’t usually work. What many consider to be multitasking is actually a rapid transition between tasks, so an audience that’s both reading and listening is simply gleaning disconnected bits and pieces rather than absorbing a comprehensive message.

A good presentation doesn’t split an audience’s focus but directs attention toward a key message the whole time. By trading out those beloved bullet points—even if you think they’re really concise—in favor of visuals that aid and support what you’re saying, you’ll help your audience focus, absorb, and remember.

3. IT’S DRY AND NON-NARRATIVE

In order to remember things, our brains naturally develop associations between one concept and the next. Metaphors, descriptive words, and images all help build correlations that activate the brain’s sensory cortices. In other words, these imaginative elements help people engage on a deeper, more complete cognitive level.

When you deliver a presentation in the form of a story, it becomes more relatable and helps your audience develop an emotional connection with the material. This in turn coaxes memory into action. What’s more, using images to metaphorically support the story you’re telling can reinforce that effect even further. When your listeners feel connected, they’re not only more likely to remember, they’re more likely to take action.

Read the full story at Four Reasons Why Nobody’s Paying Attention to Your Presentation

 

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