6 Ways to Engage an Audience when Presenting a PowerPoint Presentation


When you next find yourself in the position of having to present a PowerPoint presentation to an audience, firstly ask yourself – If you were an audience member, what would you want to get out of the presentation?

More than likely your answer would be that you would want to be informed, engaged and even entertained.

The following are six ways you can ensure your audience is better engaged during your presentation.

1. Ask a Question 

Before you start your presentation slides, a great way to grab your audience’s attention and get them thinking is by asking them a question. You can then tell them you have the answer to the question somewhere within your presentation, this will keep them attentive throughout.

2. Include a Video

A fantastic way to pique an audience’s attention is by including a short and interesting video within your PowerPoint deck. When deciding on what type of video to include, a great place to start is to think about what type of presentation you are creating. Is it motivational, informative, instructive or persuasive? This will then help you select your video theme. Regardless of the video you choose, it’s important that it is of a high-quality graphic and that the format and design match the overall tone and message of your presentation.

3. Use Images

If you want your audience to stay focused and remember what you are saying, then start by cutting down on the amount of text you use, and go heavier on the images. Having little text encourages an audience to listen to the presenter and the images heighten their imagination. Best of all, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, which means your message is much more likely to be remembered.

4. Encourage Participation

Another simple but effective way to engage an audience is to poll them or ask a “raise your hand question” either at the start or at some point in your presentation. This is another great way to encourage participation and is also an interesting way to share information.

An example of the type of question you could ask is – “Raise your hand if you have ever attempted this yourself”? or “Raise your hand if you agree with the statement that I just made”?

5. Use Humour

Who doesn’t like good humour or a joke?  Humour can be a great way of forging a connection with your audience, but you don’t have to stand in front of them and tell a joke like a comedian. You can include simple but witty things in your presentation to make them laugh, such as including examples of how NOT to do something or choosing humorous images with some of your text.

6. Tell a Story

While presenting you can tell your audience a story by including your personal journey or experience with your company, brand or service. A good story can grab your audience’s attention and make them feel emotion because while you are telling the story, they are right there with you in the moment. It also helps them to connect with you and humanises your brand.

In Conclusion

The best way to end this post is with a quote by John Medina, who is a biologist with a special interest in brain development. He summed it up beautifully when he said – “The brain doesn’t pay attention to boring things.”

So, based on that, next time we present, let’s remember to not put all our focus on heavy text, stats and data. Instead, let’s incorporate more visuals with a little bit of entertainment and audience participation.

You will know your presentation has been successful if your audience is –

  • making eye contact with you
  • asking questions
  • nodding their heads in agreement with what you are saying
  • participating in conversation
  • thanking you in the end and actually telling you they enjoyed your presentation

Do you need help with your next presentation? Contact the

PowerPoint presentation design experts at Slidesho today!