Do you think you’d have bothered reading this post if I’d called it this instead:
“Audience engagement and contemporary presentation materials”
This post’s title deliberately uses 4 “keys” to engage you (in just the first 9 words). For a moment, look at the post’s title again. Can you guess what the 4 keys might be? (You probably guessed that their initials make up the acronym PACE.) Well, read on to see how many of the keys you spotted!
(And, for a very pleasant change from so many posts about presenting, this post has nothing to do with bullet points – despite the bullets in the photo above!)
Do you ever wonder which is the best font to use on your slides? If so, I’ve a simple answer for you:
Pick a font your
audience won’t notice.
(That is, unless you happen to be presenting to “arty types” – like graphic designers. In that case, pick a font your audience approves of. More on that shortly.)
If you use Articulate Storyline, you may well have used photographic characters, which let you insert a headshot or other cut-out photo of a person:
Even if you use PowerPoint, you might’ve inserted a very similar portrait photo with no background, as they’re available from many suppliers (like Elearning Art, Elearning Brothers, and Articulate Global itself).
This 2½-minute video shows you a quick, built-in way to give a photo like that a realistic background, so it looks like it was taken in an office.
You can use this pair of audience activities or interactions to “bookend” your training:
- The 1st is a superb addition to your session’s opening.
- The 2nd is an engaging way to get feedback at the end.
Interaction #1: Let the “attenders” set the agenda(*)
Have you ever seen a trainer do something that stayed with you for decades?
More than 20 years ago, way back in the 20th century, I saw a trainer use such an awesome technique that I’m still talking about it now – in the next millennium! So before I start to feel too old, let me share it with you.
(Short of time? Get to the tips.)
As a presenter, it’s increasingly likely that you use webinar tools (like Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx or Citrix GoToWebinar) – or that you soon will. And you might well hold virtual meetings or training workshops using those same or similar tools (like Citrix GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, or Microsoft Live Meeting).
Whatever type of webinars or online meetings you run, you’ll find some useful tips in this post.
Still, you’ll want to choose which tips to use according to factors like the size of your audience and your comfort with running the online event in the 1st place, because some of the tips (notably 6 to 10) require more effort than others.
You can click any of these links to scroll to a specific tip:
Ever had to give your presentation in a much shorter timeslot than you’d planned? You know – like when one or more of the speakers before you at a conference or workshop runs over time, and the organisers want to start getting things back on track.
Recently, Rob Beisenbach wrote a great post about that, which inspired me to tell you about a rarely-used PowerPoint feature that can help you out in situations like that.
I owe you and other readers here a huge…
Thank you for your part in taking this blog to over 200,000 page views, which happened just now.
When I started Remote Possibilities in November 2011, I never dreamed it’d clock up that many views over time. It’s also amazing to me that I’ve been blogging for 3½ years now.
After all, over those same years, it’s sobering to realise how many great public-speaking blogs have ground to a halt, like all these:
If you’re like me, you won’t believe that anyone can be a better public speaker instantly. It takes repeated practice – often for years!
At least, I used to think that. But then I read a short post by Jon Acuff, and I saw that it is possible – in one sense – to be instantly better at speaking.
The instant that Jon’s talking about is the moment when you say your opening line. As he notes in this pithy quote:
“The beginning seals the deal
or ruins everything”
In a recent post, I suggested changes you might make to this “before” slide, to make it look more professional:
That slide ended up looking like one of these “after” options:
But in that recent post, I didn’t show you how to make those changes. So that’s where this post comes in – the steps are in this 3-minute video:
Here’s a tip you might like, because it’s used by elite professional speakers. Three points about the tip are that it’s:
- Yet surprisingly effective!
Let me show you how it works…
In your talk, suppose you’re discussing the passage of time, or the steps in a process, or items in a list. At times like those, you might often gesture with a sideways movement of one or both arms (or hands, or with your whole body – depending on factors like the size of the room, how much emphasis you want to add, and so on).
If you don’t think about what you’re doing – and you don’t practise on video beforehand – you’ll likely gesture from your left to right, because that’s what feels natural to you.
Take a look at this 5-second example to see what that type of gesture looks like:
Note: If you’d like to replay the clip, please use this link to open it on another tab, because when embedded in a blog post, YouTube doesn’t support replaying a clip from the same point. (Or, you can press F5 to refresh the page, and then click the video below again.)