How do I make a complex presentation more interesting?

Easy answer to this is turn your analysis into a story. I often have this debate with engineers, accountants and people from the medical profession.

One of the most effective ways of communicating any kind of complex information is to wrap it in a story. Understanding who your audience is in advance will be is hugely beneficial in helping you develop a story which is relevant and will resonate. This will allow you to deliver your presentation with greater impact and it’s also more likely to be remembered by your audience.

When delivering hard data it can be easy to lose your audience’s attention, don’t overwhelm people with facts and figures, yes data can help persuade people but it generally doesn’t inspire them to act. To do that you need to wrap your presentation in a story that stimulates the imagination and entices the audience to want to learn more about you, your product or service.

Opening with an anecdote or metaphor is a good way of starting a data heavy or complex presentation as this can really help get the audience on your side and paying attention.

5 Tips to building a more effective complex presentation 

  1. Know who your audience is.
  2. Build a story around your data and create a storyboard to help structure the presentation.
  3. Look for relevant and interesting graphics or infographics beyond charts to help support your message and make it more memorable.
  4. Don’t be afraid of making the presentation personal, remember it’s as much about building connection.
  5. Entice your audience to ask questions and create a dialogue.

Here’s a great example of the power of storytelling to get across complex information from Fergus McAuliffe at TedX Dublin.

Conor Hyland
Audience Alive Presentologist

complex presentations

Unlearning along the way.