We’ve all been there: In the audience at a dry pitch event or witnessing a lackluster presentation in a work meeting and counting the minutes until you can stop pretending to listen.

It’s alarming how common the expectation is for a presentation to be boring, especially when there are simple and concrete tools you can use to be engaging and memorable. So let’s scrap the dusty PowerPoint presentations and shake things up!

As sketch comedians who perform text from the internet word-for-word onstage, we’ve been giving a lot of lessons to techies, entrepreneurs, and corporate folk alike about how to take their content and make it exciting, no matter what that raw material is. And now, we’re bringing a few of our favorite tips to you.

Whether you’re pitching a product or presenting at a staff meeting, here are five ways to create memorable moments in any presentation.

1. Use Your Audience

There’s no better way to wake up your audience and keep them engaged than to literally use them in your presentation. Don’t ask rhetorical questions; ask actual questions, and wait for people to really answer you. If they don’t, ask again.

Alternatively, find ways to get creative with audience engagement: For instance, rather than show everyone that 20% of your demographic thinks one way through a boring slide, try having 20% of them move to one side of the room. Or, have the chairs already set up at 20/80 when people arrive, and at some point ask if they know why they’re seated that way. (You could also gift prizes hidden under seats to 20% of the audience, Oprah-style, but we realize this might only be exciting when the loot is a budget-breaking Lexus or cruise vacation.)

 

Read More At Inc.