Presentation Knowledge Hub

9 ways to make your presentation more interesting.


1- Use less text and even less numbers.

Use visuals as opposed to text when giving a presentation; Regardless of the subject being discussed, slides are intended to engage the audience with clear and colorful graphics, graphs, and tables—not as a teleprompter for the speaker. Even an audience of PhD students are like any other human being: highly visual.

2- Avoid information overload

Whether presenting templates, words, graphs, or figures, the rule of thumb is K.I.S.S—keep it short and simple. Your audience can only take so much information. Divide the body of your presentation into the three main points you want the audience to recall and process and limit your diagrams to a maximum of seven components.

3- Verbal Cues

Experienced presenters know that how something is presented can be more crucial than what is being presented. Aside from using visual aids, engage the audience’s senses. Establish eye contact, vary your tone of voice, make the appropriate facial expressions and natural gestures, and convey a high level of energy and confidence—in most cases these are more important than the  words you say. As long as these nonverbal cues are not distracting,your audience will stay interested and actually believe what you’re saying.

4- Know your audience.

Understand their learning style and knowledge level before giving your presentation including what information they need to know. Most guidelines recommend presenting the bigger picture first before drilling down the details but some actually learn faster the opposite way.

5- Engage your audience.

It’s important to check if your audience understands your message every now and then. Get your audience to participate by engaging them in a discussion or voting rather than just talking to

6- Employ humor, surprises, and practical examples.

Just because a topic can be serious and complex doesn’t mean you can’t do what presenters of other subjects do to keep their audience interested and awake like telling a joke or structuring your presentation as a unique story. Move beyond PowerPoint slides while speaking, especially when you need your audience to totally focus on the matter at hand.

7- Practice, practice, practice.

There is truth to the saying “practice makes perfect.” Rehearse the presentation, including any jokes or stories, multiple times until it becomes so natural you no longer need a script and will only have to establish rapport with your audience come presentation day. Try recording your presentation to make a realistic assessment.

8- End your presentation with a summary.

Have your audience leave the room with a clear understanding of your message or what they have to do with a brief conclusion using large and readable fonts or graphics. When using fonts for technical matters, avoid using comic sans or fonts smaller than 28 points.