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Research Shows: Engaging Presentations

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders Thursday September 15, 2011
<? echo $type; ?> Research Shows: Engaging Presentations

This month on Orange Leaders and YouLead, we’re talking about our messaging and specifically how to create an engaging presentation.

I bet you could guess what one of the most common problems with many presentations is: People trying to say too much in a short amount of time! Maybe you’ve experienced that recently yourself and after it was over, you felt overwhelmed and struggled trying to tell someone the main point or what you took away from it.

There are several great resources on this subject including Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds (which we’re covering on Wednesdays in September), as well as an older classic book, The Craft of Scientific Presentations by Michael Alley. Here are some notes:

Alley suggests that you actually have to choose as you craft your presentation. You can go deep (in depth) or you can go wide (in scope), but it is very difficult to do both in a one-hour lecture or conference presentation.

Dr. Medina in the book, Brain Rules, says trying to relate too much information—and leaving no time for connecting the dots—is another one of the most common communication mistakes. Ever been guilty of that? I have!

Also, researchers at the University of New South Wales found that it’s actually more difficult to process information if it’s coming at you both verbally and in written form at the same time. So, think about all those PowerPoint presentations as they’re commonly used—bullet points and small text that takes up most of the screen with little in the way of graphic support. It just might be time to rethink how we share what we know if we’d like others to get on the same page as us.

What’s something you’ve learned about engaging others when you’re presenting important information? Share here so we can all get better at communicating key things.

At Orange Leaders, we influence those who influence the next generation. We do that by creating resources and products that help leaders like you do ministry better.