How to make a boring presentation interesting
March 14, 2023
You can use simple presentation skills to make a boring presentation interesting.
If you talk about a dry topic in a dull manner, your audience will struggle to stay attentive. Instead, you need to make an impact and make it memorable. This can feel intimidating: some topics don’t appear to offer much scope for drama. But you can apply simple presentation skills to add interest, whatever your subject.
As our example, imagine that you need to give a talk on Customer Service in your organisation. We’ll look at five ways you could communicate the message ‘Our customer service needs to be improved’ more powerfully.
Try these five presentation skills to make a boring presentation interesting:
1. Use surprise to make a boring presentation more interesting
“Me talking to you about improving customer service is a complete waste of time… But any of us doing something that improves our customer service is time well spent.”
A surprising phrase will make your audience pay attention, as their expectations are jolted. The second line then mirrors and twists the first. The use of personal pronouns – me, you and us – keep the sentence active and involve your audience.
2. Use a set of three to make a boring presentation more interesting
“Three unanswered calls; two unhappy customers; five wasted minutes hanging onto the phone. Would you accept that from BT? So why should anyone accept that from us?”
This uses a set of three – a powerful tool in spoken language – in the first sentence. Then it connects the issue to an experience we all recognise before tying it back to the task in hand.
3. Use a story to make a boring presentation more interesting
“This morning, Mary waited 20 rings for her call to be answered. When the phone was finally picked up by John, the CSR, he denied all knowledge of her case. He suggested she call back next week.”
Using a story structure creates the right frame of mind in your listeners. Stories convey a challenging perspective in a safe way, avoiding putting your audience on the defensive. Read about the seven ways stories can make your speeches and presentations more powerful here.
4. Use rhetorical questions to make a boring presentation more interesting
“What did you do today to improve your customers’ experience? And what could you have done? I want to show you three simple ideas that you can use every day to make your customers happier.”
Here, using two rhetorical questions prompts the audience to start to answer them in their heads. The second half shares up-front the benefits that listeners will get from continuing to pay attention.
5. Use rhyme to make a boring presentation more interesting
“When the customer rings – hear them sing. When the customer moans, listen to them on the phone.”
Our brains love rhyme and rhythm, which is why we find it so easy to remember songs. If you include a rhyme you can help the audience recall the main takeaway of your talk or presentation.
How to make your presentation more interesting
Top presentation and public speaking tips from Benjamin Ball
Each of these examples shows how small, easy-to-use presentation skills can transform a boring presentation into an engaging talk. At first, it might feel odd to consciously change the way you use language, but after a little practise these techniques will soon become part of your public speaking toolkit.
Download our free ebook to start your journey towards becoming a Powerful Presenter.
We can help you improve your presentation skills
Benjamin Ball Associates specialises in bringing complex, dry topics to life. We can help you to communicate clearly, confidently and with impact, in time for your next talk or presentation.
Call Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
About Benjamin Ball Associates
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.
Over the years the BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email email@example.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.
Understand the benefits of presentation training
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.
What leaders say about Benjamin Ball Associates
"Essential if you are going to be a spokesperson for your business"
Senior Analyst, Sloane Robinson
"Being an effective communicator is essential to get your stock ideas across. This course is exactly what's needed to help you do just that!"
CEO, Blast! Films
“Our investment in the coaching has paid for itself many times over.”
Corporate Finance House
“You address 95% of the issues in a quarter of the time of your competitor.”
“Good insight and a great toolbox to improve on my presentations and delivery of messages to not only boards, analysts and shareholders but to all audiences”
“We had a good story to tell, but you helped us deliver it more coherently and more positively.”
CEO, IPSO Ventures
“Ben did a great job on our presentation. He transformed an ordinary set of slides into a great presentation with a clear message. Would definitely use him again and recommend him highly.”
“Moved our presentation into a different league and undoubtedly improved the outcome and offer we received.”
Head of IR, Equinox
“A fantastic job reviewing and transforming our marketing material and helping us get our message across with clarity to potential investors.”