Business Speakers: How To Engage Your Colleagues When the Topic Is Boring.

In our professional lives, we occasionally have to talk about topics that aren’t inherently interesting. The information may be information-dense, dry, dull, or in your mind, boring.

Here are my top tips to make your presentation more engaging,

Remember, there are no boring topics, just boring angles. Hunt through your material and identify a few key elements. Look at them from various angles and try to develop a fresh perspective. You need to find aspects of the information that genuinely interest you. If you cannot find a single element that excites you, your audience will follow your lead, assume the material is mind-numbing, and quickly tune out.

Clearly define how this information will help your listeners/teammates/colleagues. Imagine they are asking you, “Why should I care?” Your introduction should make it perfectly clear how this information is going to help them do their job. If you cannot tell them why this is important to them and why it is worth their time to pay attention, they will quickly move their attention to something they believe is important.

Up the interaction. The moment listeners are called upon to respond, their focus is brought back to the topic. Ask questions and solicit opinions. Aim for a conversational exchange rather than a one-way lecture approach.

Clean up the slides. Only use slides to illuminate what you are saying. If your slides are simply a written version of what you are presenting, people will stop paying attention. 

Include storytelling and examples.  Storytelling is simply presenting your material/ideas in a language that people understand. Avoid lists of facts and figures. Cut out complex vocabulary and jargon, and present using the language you would use in everyday life.  Enhance your material by drawing on real-life examples. Stick with this approach, and your listeners will remain engaged.

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