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  • Writer's pictureIpshita Basu Guha (Ph. D.)

5 Quick Ideas to Break the Monotony of a Presentation Slide Deck and Keep Your Audience Glued

Fighting for attention

These days a majority of us have low attention spans. An article in Time magazine stated that the human attention span is gradually becoming lower than that of a goldfish.

When you are making a business presentation that is long and complex, how will you manage to retain the attention of your audience? It is possible that most of the attendees might switch off their brains while thinking about something else.

In this post, I am going to share 5 quick ideas to break the monotony during business presentations.

Let’s dig in.


Woman in front of the Computer

Credit: Photo by Mikael Blomkvist on Pexels


5 Quick Ideas to Break the Monotony of a Presentation Slide Deck


#1 – Insert a video, and get the focus back

Try this method. Say you are discussing a case study. Look for relevant smart videos that enunciate the points. Insert the video in the presentation.


Why

Your audience will find it refreshing to look at the video as they were concentrating on a ton of words and images/ graphs/ pictures till that point.

A dynamic display will nudge everyone who was daydreaming or doodling on a sheet of paper.


#2 – Add a trivia or inspirational story to the slide deck

Inspirational stories in line with the presentation always strike the right chord.

When your audience is hunched with scrunched faces trying to understand what you are saying, a brief intermission from the heavy stuff with a story that motivates your audience to act can work wonders.


How is it useful?

If your presentation is long and filled with numbers, jargon, and theories; a brief storytelling session will infuse energy in your audience. They will be receptive going forward.


#3 – Add a cartoon clip

Two benefits.

  1. Everyone has a good hearty laugh.

  2. The audience gets an opportunity to move about their seat, stretch a bit, sip some water, and feel refreshed.


When should you use it?

Once you complete a heavy section of your presentation use cartoons to lighten the mood. Use this break to check with your audience if they are in sync with you or if they might have some questions.


#4 – Share information on upskilling at 0 or low cost

Business presentations are seldom for joy or to spread love. It means business. It is serious. Everyone is expected to listen, think, analyze, and step up with actions.

In the midst of such sessions, as you discuss your data or present visualization, or talk about branding and positioning there is an excellent opportunity to rouse your audience.

You can share a slide filled with information on free or nominally charged courses that your audience members can pursue in their own time to upskill. Point out the areas where they can make use of that skill to up their game.


Who am I to suggest upskilling options?

Communication, writing reports, presentation skills, number crunching, data visualization, and critical thinking are skills that are needed and useful in almost all workplaces irrespective of the profession.

In the rush of daily life and work commitments, upskilling initiatives or efforts get sidelined. Showing the audience such kind of information is a sign of empathy and doing so works in your favor.

A presentation is the right time to share some knowledge and leads that are mutually beneficial. You will note that suddenly people are busy taking notes or clicking a picture of the slide.


#5 – Slide in a brain teaser

I just love these slides. Suddenly everyone is awake and their competitive side raises its head. There is a healthy buzz in the room.

There are some presentations where I participated in a small game too. It was good fun.

Everyone enjoys a spot of competition every now and then.

Unless it is a Kobiyashi Maru kind of exercise, you will have one or more winners.


Is it appropriate during an office presentation?

Of course, it is. It just shows how people think and gives you a sense of the general attitude of your audience.

You can slip in a health tip suggesting to the audience that they should try these brain teasers more often for their well-being.


Woman in blue long sleeve shirt sitting on gray chair smiling

Credit: Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

Work and enjoyment

When you give a presentation, your primary goal is to ensure your audience absorbs all that you have to share. You cannot help it if the topic is dry, filled with critical information, and requires your audience to pay continuous attention.

The best thing you can do is make the structure and flow of your presentation such that there is enough break and mental stimulation in between to maintain the attention of your audience.

It is better to do something quirky than to be boring and tedious.

Break the monotony. Do something strange and extravagant!

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you like the idea and need help with creating your presentation, then let’s talk. You can focus on delivering the content while I craft that sleek slide deck for you and make it enjoyable too.

 

I also write about a host of other interesting stuff on Medium, LinkedIn, and my website.

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