Steve Hughes' session titled, "Own the Room: Presentations That Captivate and Win Over Any Audience" was my favorite session at AALL 2013.
You'll likely agree that many presentations, PowerPoint or otherwise, don't capture the audience's attention nearly as much as one would like. Steve had a useful method to get past this audience apathy. I'm going to highlight the things I found most useful below:
* Ask questions, if you get no answer, answer your own question and repeat. 90% of the time, the audience will join with their own questions.
* Don't start with your name and title, start with statistics or a story first to gain attention.
* Remember that the audience is always thinking, "How does this apply to me?"
* Human attention span is at its max only 6-8 minutes.
* Eye contact is important. Lock eyes with one person as you deliver one thought, for the next thought move to another person in the audience. If doing this towards the back of the room, focus on one person because to the audience it looks like you are looking at many people from that distance.
* Remember what it's like to be a novice.
* Keep the spotlight on the audience.
* Steve says to use the SPARQ method:
- S-Surprising Statistics
- P-Pictures or Video
- R-Real-life example
* To create a good PowerPoint, consider the following factors:
- One idea per slide
- Visual (pictures trump words)
- Slide Variety (bullets, charts, pictures)
- The 4x4 Principle-4 bullets 4 words per slide
- Create a dialogue
* Remember to open big, have a good PowerPoint presentation if using one, make it interactive and be confident.