I've pushed PowerPoint and other technologies as far as I dare. Are there any tricks I can use to make my presentations more effective?
Let's move past the use of the word "trick" to make your work product better - hopefully the value of your content speaks for itself. However, I understand what you are getting at: what practices or approaches can you use to more fully engage your audience.
First, consider whether your presentation is to inform, enlighten, inspire or convince. This will determine how you can have the greatest impact but, in most cases for consultants, an appeal to emotion is useful. Ask what, at the end of the presentation, you want your audience to "think and feel." Balance your presentation with both facts and emotion. Many of our briefings tends to be left brain/factual and contain relatively little emotion. Without this, your audience may be informed but not necessarily convinced.
Second, use the concept of detachment before movement. Don't try to push people into new thoughts or emotions without loosening their hold on their current thoughts or emotions. Find ways to open them up to new ideas, question their logic or facts, and introduce "evidence" to make them willing to consider changing their mind. Set aside some time at the beginning of the presentation (or before, in another venue) to assure your audience is prepared with an open mind to new ideas or is inspired to act on the need your presentation addresses.Tip:
One great way to do this is through short (2-5 minute) videos, many of which are available online. To get people to "think outside the box," show them how Theo Jansen creates new forms of life
. To wake people up to how fast the world is changing, show them Did You Know?
. To give people some perspective when going through tough times, show them I Love Living Life. I am Happy
. Finally, to disrupt closely held beliefs about motivation, show them The surprising truth about what motivates us
.© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA