After you create the content for your presentation, the next step is to sprinkle entertainment throughout.
Why? Because the entertainment grabs the attention of your audience and makes it easier for them to listen to and digest the morsels of content. The more dry and boring the content might seem to your audience – the more important it is for you to include the entertainment.
The perceptions of what is boring or entertaining are relative based on the interest and understanding of the audience for your message.
Notice that even sporting events use color commentary to keep it interesting for the audience.
An old rule of thumb stated that you needed to include entertainment about every seven minutes. That rule was written before Google, Twitter and iPhones. My guess is that today you might need to entertain at least every three minutes.
You don’t need to break into song or dance – unless you are very good at it and that form of entertainment fits with your message and audience.
Here are three simple and effective forms of entertainment that you can easily inject into your presentation.
- Tell a story
- Use a metaphor or analogy
- Play with words
Tell a Story
This might be the simplest and most powerful way to entertain. The story is our most enduring way of communicating from cave dwellers to texters.
Personal stories are the best because you know it and it distinguishes you from other speakers.
Use a Metaphor or Analogy
The simplest way that most of us learn is by relating new things to what we know already. How is this new thing like or unlike what we already know? We constantly think in metaphors so it’s natural for you to use metaphors that link your message to your audience. When you present new concepts you must rely on metaphors to make it easier for people to understand and remember your message.
Likening the World Wide Web to a spider web helps us visualize the linkages of the Internet.
Play with Words
This might take a little more thought and it’s worth it because your audience appreciates the cleverness of your presentation.
Rhyme your words – the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.
Use alliteration – persuade people with Power Presentations
Use a pun – Biscuits and speeches are better when made with shortening. Matt Veinosky
You don’t need to be hilarious, amazing or worthy of an Oscar. The entertainment only needs to lighten the moment and support your message. Don’t entertain for the sake of entertainment only. Entertain to make your message more palatable and memorable.
Entertain people and you will be more like the puppeteer than the puppet.
Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.