Jun 25

How to Make Research Presentation Interesting or Funny

How Do You Make a Presentation Interesting?

Some people ask; “How do you make a research Presentation interesting or funny?” Inevitably you will, at some point, want to give a funny work presentation or maybe you have to give a funny medical presentation, or what have you. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t start off with Powerpoint or Impress. I would start off with a pen and paper. Remember those?
You need to establish exactly what your message is. I’ve harped on about this elsewhere on this blog, but I feel that it’s really important.

What do you hope to convey to your audience and, when I say that, remember it’s not just about what you think’s best. You have to establish what’s in it for them. What does your audience get out of listening to you present for 20, 30 or 45 minutes? If they don’t remember anything else from your presentation, what is the ONE THING they need to take away?

Capture your ideas

Scribble your ideas down or notate them on your computer. You need to establish your main message and make points which relate back to that overall theme. Fairly straight forward then. This will help make your presentation interesting. Why? Generally because a lot of work presentations don’t have a memorable message and are not clear with what they want their audience to remember.

From there try to come up with an image that represents each idea that you’re hoping to get across. You’re not using dozens of bullet points on each slide because you might as well go home and let your audience read a book. This certainly won’t make your presentation interesting. Find an image and an accompanying quote, statement or question. In the post Traditional PowerPoint Slides Olivia Mitchell points out the problems of “death by bullet point”.

You’re creating visual aids; they aid you with your presentation. They aren’t your presentation.

So work out what needs to appear on each slide. The slide should be a leaping off point for you. The audience should see the image and/or read the statement and then re-focus on you. When your presentation’s in slide show mode, hit the “b” button for a black screen.

You can’t expect them to read and listen to you at the same time.

Cliff Atkinson, author of Beyond Bullet Points, suggests switching the view of your slides to view them more like a storyboard that movie makers use. That way you get to see how each slide works in unison with the surrounding slides and you can create a more cohesive flow for your message. To do this you need to view your slides in Slide Sorter mode.

Remember, YOU are the driving force for presentation not whatever technology you decide to use.

By creating your presentation you can already begin to see how you can make it interesting. It has to be visually stimulating not visually overwhelming.

Now… there are many different ways for you to make your presentation funny, which I have written about in the post create funny PowerPoints. A quick and basic approach can be in utilising the rule of three which you can easily see when you have your slides viewed as per the above suggestion.

You can create a twist in people’s expectations by altering the third slide in your sequence. For instance, if you were doing a presentation about dangerous creatures you could have your first slide showing a Great White Shark, the second showing a Tiger and the third showing your baby sister, or daughter, gritting her teeth. The last slide in that sequence is an unexpected surprise and could therefore generate laughter.

Don’t make that a regular formula you use through your slides, as the audience will come to expect it and it will lose it’s effectiveness. You’re the one that should be generating the laughter, but remember you still have to convey your message, nothing outweighs what’s important for your audience. However, it will certainly help make your presentation interesting.

Another approach is to capture your own sense of humour using a killer system like Top Comedy Secrets.

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1 ping

  1. Presentation Hacks

    […] so the list is slightly easier to digest. For additional information check out my post on interesting research presentations. […]

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