Putting together a presentation that attracts and holds audience attention can be quite challenging. This is especially true when naturally, your audience members are split into two opposite personality groups, known as Introverts and Extroverts. Introverts focus inwards into their own thoughts in comparison to extroverts who focus outwards into the world. Although there are two different sets of people, many people are a little bit of both which makes it hard to distinguish and identify between the two. Introverts are mostly concerned with what’s going on inside their own heads, which is why you will find they are quieter and often keep to themselves. Extroverts are the opposite and pay more attention to what’s going on around them rather than what’s going on inside their heads.
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Due to the split in personality amongst your audience, it’s essential to understand that the personality traits exist so you can strategically put your presentation together. Being able to address each of the characteristics uniquely means both types of audience members will be engaged with your presentation. If you do not craft a presentation that caters to both sets, you can run the risk of losing half your audience, leaving them either exhausted and overwhelmed with information or, transversely, as uninformed as when they entered the room. Finding the balance can be difficult, but here are some tips on how to put together a presentation that will appeal to both personality traits and help you reach the goals of your presentation:
Avoid randomly calling on audience members
As you can imagine, for the introverts who like to keep to themselves, being called up from the audience and standing in front of a crowd would make for a nightmare scenario. By randomly calling on an audience member to respond to your question, you have a high chance of isolating an introvert and instilling fear into all the other introverts in the room. Not everyone shares the same level of confidence as you, the speaker, and it’s essential to remember that you have had some time to prepare and think about what you are going to say compared to those in your audience. Instead, it would be worth considering, rather than picking people from your audience, asking for volunteers who are willing and excited to participate. By asking for a volunteer, you are more likely to gain an individual who is more engaged and will be a better sport.
Include interactive elements and explanatory text
One of the great things about including an interactive component of your presentation is the fact that it appeals to both sets of personalities, maybe a little more to extroverts. Interactive elements provide extroverts with the opportunity to get out their heads and re-energize, giving them the ability to connect with people. Visuals are also an excellent way to keep the minds of both sets of audience members engaged. Using visuals such as diagrams and charts allow your audience to quickly digest the content on the slides without having to interact heavily with one another or with you as the speaker.
There’re a few tools to help you with that:
- Piktochart: a fantastic tool to make bright, eye-catching infographics and presentations
- PoweredTemplate: a platform with pre-made presentation templates, diagrams, and charts
- Canva: create engaging infographics, charts, and slides
Adding in an explanatory text when designing your slides will also help your audience to understand your presentation better. In some cases, introverts absorb information through reading by themselves, which means at times they may ignore you as the speaker totally. Extroverts are more likely to listen to you as the speaker an ignore the text on slides. By including a small number of explanatory texts and visuals you can help an audience to gain a level of unspoken comprehension, but by also exploring the points while you are speaking can help elevate you further.
Build in breaks and pauses
It’s important to include breaks in your presentation. The concentration span of the human mind is quite limited and so for an effective presentation, it’s vital to keep your points short and sweet. Long presentations can be quite draining for both introverts and extroverts, and both need time to think and synchronize with their own thoughts. Building breaks into your presentation, especially if they are quite long breaks, give your audience the chance to breathe and consider the points that you may have covered, as well as offering them the chance to ask you any questions.
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