This gets even more interesting considering that we spend 37% of our time in meetings and presentations.
On the flip side, as the presenter, it’s unnerving to be looking out at a sea of faces who look like they’d rather be somewhere else. Having audience interaction makes our presentation more interesting and easier on everyone. If you’re looking for ways to make your next presentation more engaging and interactive, try these ideas. This will help keep them paying attention and coming up with questions they want to ask you.
She also offers a provocative idea to put up a sign asking for interruptions at the beginning of the session. When it comes to presentations, most of us are used to being talked to, rather than being asked to share our own thoughts. You want to be tactful and not make people feel put on the spot, so make sure it’s a topic that the person can actually speak to. Numerous studies have shown that being asked to participate in a presentation makes listeners more interested and engaged.


Ask listeners to divide into small groups and discuss a concept for a few minutes, then share what they’ve talked about with the rest of the audience. We don’t usually associate presentations and physical activity, and that’s why it’s engaging. It’s mind-numbing to be forced to listen to dry content that’s delivered (or worse, read) at us, rather than discussed with us. Start your presentation by telling the audience you want their questions and that you expect interaction. If you’re speaking at a larger venue, like a conference, Marshall also shows how you can take this idea to another level, inviting the audience to blog, tweet, and otherwise share their thoughts about what they’re learning. As a frequent speaker, I have seen how much people enjoy the opportunity to talk with those sitting around them during a presentation. Or another option is to make this portion of your presentation a game, and ask the teams to brainstorm ideas about your presentation topics.
The action of going from one place to another breaks the monotony and further encourages connection among group members. But that interaction doesn’t come by accident – it’s up to the speaker to frame their presentation to encourage audience participation.


You can go so far as to point to a specific person and ask for their opinion (works best in a small group) or to query a portion of the room. You can also take things a step further by having people stand or sit to show agreement, or, if you have a lot of time and a small enough audience, by dividing people into groups who share a commonality. As this article cites, studies show 91% of listeners at business presentations admitted to daydreaming, and an impressive 39% to downright falling asleep at some point. And providing the audience the opportunity to interact with each other adds a peer learning dimension to a presentation.
Marshall even suggests that the influence of social media might mean this desire to get involved is even greater than it was before.



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