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Think you might be boring? You probably are. So, be interesting.

Tags: Be interesting | Presentations | Impact | Save time | Do more | Influencing

18th July

It’s one of those dreaded thoughts, isn’t it?

“When I’m presenting, am I interesting?”

Well, worry no more.

Because – after years of research – I’ve found a simple way to be interesting. And here it is…

    Find out what your audience will find interesting. And then talk about that.

Genius, I know.

But, judging by the number of boring presentations we’ve all sat through, even though it sounds obvious, lots of people don’t do it.

So, here are some easy ways to make sure you’re interesting:

  • Ask about content. Ask your audience in advance what topics they want you to talk about. That way, you’re bound to talk about the right stuff. This is miles better than guessing what content they want
  • Prepare questions. When you ask questions, audiences answer. This turns your one-way presentation into a two-way conversation. Much nicer for everyone. So don’t just prep what you’ll say. Also prep what you’ll ask
  • Practise your start. Your start is your first impression. Do a brilliant one, and you’re off to a flyer. I spend at least 20% of my prep on the first 2% of my presentation. Script what you’ll say. Practise saying it out loud 10-20 times. That way, you know you’ll start well
  • Add variety. Watching someone read out loads of similar-looking slides is not interesting. So vary things. Change the look of your slides. Move around the room. Alter your volume and pace. Use short silences as a break from the noise… anything that shakes things up
  • Copy interesting people. Think of the best presenters you’ve seen. Find a couple of things they do that you can learn – ok, copy – from
  • Use interesting things. You know the type of things that people find interesting – quizzes, puzzles, group exercises, interesting stories, interactive exercises, humour. So, include some.

And the final secret ingredient to being interesting?

A highlighter pen.

When you’ve done your prep, highlight all the bits they’ll find interesting:

  • If you have no highlighting, you aren’t interesting. So insert some interesting stuff
  • If there is highlighting, but there’s a section with no highlights, that means that bit’s boring. So put something interesting in there.

None of this is ground-breaking thinking.

But, because so many presentations are boring, it’s clear most people don’t do it.

Do you?

Action point

For your next presentation, include at least 1-2 ideas from this Tip. Do this, and it’s already more interesting – for the audience and for you

Also, Month #4 of my video club contains lots more ideas on how to improve your presentations. Things like how to wow a room; create impressive slides; feel bullet-proof before you even open your mouth. Watch one of them FOR FREE here.

Andy's speaking at the UK's best sales conference in October. Other speakers include Sir Clive Woodward and Allan Pease. Fancy coming along?