5 ways to improve presentation engagement:

Brain Rule #9: Stimulate more senses!

We can improve presentation engagement by engaging more of the senses during a presentation. At least, that’s the findings from science according to Brain rules. I thought Brain Rule #9 might be tough to apply to presentations:

“Our senses work together so it is important to stimulate them! Your head crackles with the perceptions of the whole world, sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, energetic as a frat party.”

Yes we can easily tick off sight & sound, they certainly occur in presentations! But taste & smell? Can they really apply to presentations too?

“Smell is unusually effective at evoking memory. If you’re tested on the details of a movie while the smell of popcorn is wafted into the air, you’ll remember 10-50% more.”

Up to 50% more? Wow. So we could feasibly waft the smell of coffee into the room? Either that or fall back on “conference breath” to help recall the information we’ve just seen! Maybe not. Pass the breath mints please.

The overriding factor to help make your presentation more memorable is to increase presentation engagement itself. Engage more of the senses = remember more.

improve presentation engagement

5 things you can do to improve presentation engagement:

  1. Use polls – Get your audience voting via a link on their mobile. Results come up on the screen immediately. It makes for a more dynamic engagement with the audience. They feel heard, they feel important. And the results are also something that spikes curiousity. Try Slido or Participoll.
  2. Use hyperlinks – hyperlink your slides to jump to different sections at different times. Who says a presentation has to go from A to B? By having a closer rapport with your audience you can take them on a different journey each time. Exploring & adapting to demand and interest is great for increasing presentation engagement. See examples of hyperlinked PowerPoint menu navigation in our portfolio, and other non-linear presentation structures.
  3. Use animation – to help your audience understand your content. Well timed entrances help to keep people focused where you need them to be. Movement attracts the eye. That’s why we all end up looking at TV screens when in cafes / bars etc. it’s simply the movement. Good animation will keep your audience entertained and attracted to your slides. Once you notice it, you’ll see how much your attention is drawn automatically to things that move. We are the predator or we are the prey! Movement really does hook our attention.
  4. Embed video – it’s easy these days to embed videos. Just keep them short! Remember you’re there to present, not to host a cinema club…
  5. Waft the smell of popcorn into the room. Then bottle & sell “Popcorn d’Eau”, a new perfume, and make a fortune by improving worldwide business memories… or perhaps not.

Okay, so 4 great tips to increase presentation engagement then.

Use them wisely dear friends!