Death by PowerPoint - how to wow your delegates

15th Apr 2019

In an age of hyper-connectivity with social media, instant messaging, face-time and 24/7 emails all vying for our attention, delivering engaging presentations is harder than ever and the risk of ‘death by PowerPoint’ is ever increasing. As a tool it certainly has its uses; however there is a tendency for presentations to become long and uninspiring when speakers rely on it. Slides are often stacked with text that’s too small to read, the images all look the same and by the time the Q&A comes round most of your audience have switched over to watching cat videos on their smart phone.

Think differently to engage with your attendees. Make them part of the conversation and let their contributions help evolve the event. Here are Jessica Cleary’s, our Events Sales Manager, top tips to help you to think outside of the box:

Get your audience to focus

The most important thing is to grab your audience’s attention straight away – and then maintain it. You want your audience to go away having learned something. So, make it as easy as possible for people to grasp your message “from the off” so you need to be very clear on what your message is and what you want them to take away. Make your finale memorable by leaving people with one last anecdote or example. Or use a powerful statistic or quote that sums up your findings.

Start a conversation

If you want to engage your audience it’s important to initiate a conversation. Ask them for their point of view via interactive polls and surveys that can be done in the session. Networking is also a key part when delegates are attending an event so consider an activity to break down barriers, and get people talking, such as interactive group workshops or discussions.

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Take breaks

We’re not talking toilet breaks but intersperse content with discussion, group exercises and/ or reflection time. The human attention span doesn’t last long so keep your audience invested and engaged with breaks from you just talking at them. An interactive presentation is an engaging one, so ask questions (perhaps using polling technology) and design group exercises that get people talking.

Mix it up

We all learn in different ways, so mix up the media and engage your audience through various senses. Discover how you can illustrate your points through photos, music, live demos and videos. It can even be helpful to provide something tangible for your audience to hold in their hands whether passing around an item or getting them to vote and engage via social media. Don’t forget to include your hashtags for people to get involved in the conversation.

Get active

If you really want to engage, motivate and bond with your delegates then why not consider an indoor, outdoor or evening activity? We work with teambuilding companies who can bring a different approach with a range of activities for corporate professionals and groups to give that wow factor to your next event. 

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Don’t forget to ask them for feedback from what elements of the conference they found most engaging, as well as what turned them off, so you will be able to fine-tune the content for next time.


Swap the city for fresh forest air and fresh thinking at Careys Manor Hotel. Foster relationships amongst acres of woodland to celebrate your team’s success with dinner together and inspire new ideas in a comfortable relaxed setting. Contact Jessica today on 01590 625217 or email Jessica@careysmanor.com.

 
 
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