How To Engage Your Audience During a PowerPoint Presentation

Listeners in the lecture
Here's how to keep you presentation audience interested and engaged during your PowerPoint presentation.

Step 1

Seminars and presentations can be boring for the audience. So if you're presenting a PowerPoint presentation to customers or colleagues, spice it up a bit to keep you audience interested. Any of these secrets will help you engage your audience during your PowerPoint presentation.

Make your PowerPoint slides easy to read. The most important secret to engaging your audience during your PowerPoint presentation is that it needs to be easy to read. You may think that a rainbow of colors is going to wow your audience, but it's quite the opposite. A few plain colors that starkly contrast your PowerPoint background will be easiest to read. If your audience can read your presentation, you'll keep them engaged longer. (And keep colorblind people in mind. Don't mix blue fonts and purple backgrounds, or brown fonts on green backgrounds. Use a very dark-colored background and a very light color for your font so that everyone will be able to see your PowerPoint presentation.)

You also want to make sure that you use a sizable font throughout your PowerPoint presentation. You may be able to read it just fine on your computer screen, but consider the guy at the back of the seminar room who will be straining to read your PowerPoint titles. Use at least a font size of 35 for your titles and headings, and choose 28 point font or larger for your points. That's as small as you should go. If you need to fit more information onto your page, make two slides.  Don't cram it in or your PowerPoint slide won't be useful at all since your audience won't be able to read it.

You can also make sure that your audience stays engaged during your PowerPoint presentation by keeping your font use to a minimum. Fancy fonts are hard on the eyes and won't keep your audience engaged. Instead, use one or two fonts throughout your PowerPoint presentation. Use one font for titles, and one font for your slide content. Keep it simple!

Step 2

Limit the information you present on your slides. A PowerPoint slide shouldn't speak for itself. It should provide the bare bones of the next point you want to make without going into too much detail. You won't engage your audience in your presentation if they're busy trying to read your PowerPoint slides at the same time that they're trying to listen to you. Your presentation will be a complete flop, and your audience will be insulted that you stood there and read your slides to them. Use PowerPoint presentations as an aid to your presentation, not at the backbone of it. The important information should come straight from you. So put no more than 6 points on each slide. (This also ensures that you can use a larger font.) And do 90% talking, 10% reading.

This brings up another necessity for keeping for your audience engaged during a PowerPoint presentation: bullets. Keep your information short and sweet with the use of bullets. Paragraphs are just too much for an audience to handle in such a short amount of time. Convey important information verbally and use bullets to state only the main points.

Step 3

Use pictures and graphics. A PowerPoint presentation that is nothing but words isn't intriguing to audiences. Avoid putting your audience to sleep by ramping up your PowerPoint presentation with pictures and graphics. Mix up your bullet points with a few graphics or cartoons. Even animated characters on the corner of a PowerPoint slide will catch the eye of daydreaming audience members. Eliciting a chuckle from the crowd every now and then will keep them interested, focused and engaged with your PowerPoint presentation.


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