There’s a huge difference between a good and bad presentation. Anyone who has experienced the later kinds probably wishes they could have that time back. You don’t want to be the one responsible for giving someone those negative associations. Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can improve your next Google Slides presentation.
Make It a Conversation as Much as a Presentation
The way you approach your presentation is going to play a huge role in its effectiveness. It has been shown that straight lecturing isn’t a great way to get people to engage with information. In one study, students who learned by standard lectures had a 55 percent higher fail rate than those who took part in an active learning environment. This shouldn’t come as any big surprise.
When was the last time you were super into listening to someone ramble on and on about something? Maybe this is an acceptable format if it’s a world-class expert and speaker talking about something that really interests you. But most of the time this isn’t the case. Oftentimes, audience members don’t want to be there at all.
This is the essence of why you need to stop giving lectures and start having conversations. When participation is integrated into presentations, people much more likely to earnestly engage with the content. Find ways to create a back and forth between you and the audience.
Include Interactive Polls or Surveys
There are various ways to create a conversational environment for your Google Slides presentation. Utilizing polls and surveys is one of the best methods for this. Adding a Google poll element to your slides can stimulate people, while also making them feel like they’re playing an active role.
There are a few ways to do this. Adding the Poll Everywhere extension to Google Chrome is one of the best options. This allows you to get real-time audience participation with polls in Google Slides. Users can access this from a smartphone or table—making it super easy to get the audience on board. Various design options—and the ability to have anonymous responses—are both helpful aspects as well.
Mix Up the Content on Your Slides
There are two common mistakes people consistently make when building a slide-based presentation. First, they use way too much text, which overwhelms the audience with bullet points. You don’t want to do this for a couple reasons. Do you enjoy sitting through a boring slide show composed of only bullet points? No one else does, either.
Additionally, people read faster than you can talk. Dumping a bunch of lengthy bullet points just means people will be sitting there waiting for you to stop saying what they finished reading a while ago.
The other big mistake is not mixing up slides. It’s fine to use some short lines of text on slides—assuming it’s only there to supplement what you’re saying. But don’t do this for every single slide. Add in some short video clips, relevant images, sound bites, or anything else that might give the presentation some flavor.
Changing things up will help you hold the attention of audience members.
Consider What Did and Didn’t Work with Your Last Presentation
Self-evaluation is one of the most important aspects to improvement. Even an average Google Slides presentation likely does a few things well. The idea is to carry those things over into your next one, while improving on aspects that need some work. It’s a good idea to enlist the help of audience members when doing this. If there’s someone you know and trust listening to you, ask them when they thought of the presentation afterwards.
Getting honest feedback from peers can greatly improve your next project in Google Slides. After all, it’s in the audience’s best interest for you to do well, too.
Find Ways to Make People Think
Oftentimes, presentations are just a compilation of facts and opinions. While it’s important to include these—especially when those number or concepts might change perspectives—they’re also limited in scope. Just stating things to people falls back on that tendency of lecturing over conversing. A great Google Slides presentation finds ways to make audience members think for themselves.
One of the best ways to do this is coming up with thought-provoking questions. These aren’t questions that require a simple “yes” or “no,” or any simple response. In fact, sometimes the best way to do this is ask questions you can’t answer. Challenging people mentally will make them want to pay attention, while also getting them to respect you as a presenter and person.
Google Slides is a fantastic tool for presenting information to an audience. However, you need to consider how it’s received in order to provide the best possible slide show. Implement some of these ideas to improve your next Google Slides presentation.