Zooming presentations pt 2

Audience engagement

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Part 2

How zooming presentations help your audience

Have you ever sat in the audience of a presentation, and then 20 minutes later found yourself thinking ‘I’m just not getting this!’. Well don’t beat yourself up, it’s down to the presenter to help you understand a concept or new piece of information, and if you still don’t get it by the end of their talk then that’s on them.

The chances are that the slides you saw were stacked full of content (cognitive overload), probably had a tonne of bullet points (boring), and were delivered in a linear way with zero interaction from you and the other audience members (old school).

Here’s an important fact that millions of presenters miss…Our brains don’t work in the same way that many people are presenting content.

A visual test

Try this test:
Think of 3 electrical items in your kitchen.
You can close your eyes if you want to. Don’t write them down, just think of them in your mind’s eye.

Now that you have them let’s look at what happened in your brain just then. Did you see a black space with a bunch of bullet points appearing one at a time? We hope not!

What happens is you see your kitchen and the environment. You see the electrical items, and where they are in that kitchen environment. This is called Spacial Memory and every human being on the planet has this. We are wired to think in this way.

Visual thinking

Applying this to your content

Now let’s imagine you have a complex chart of data to present and it’s crucial your audience understands all the different spikes and dips in that data. The worst possible thing you could do is have the chart on a slide for 30 minutes whilst you physically point to all of the different areas for discussion. Why? Because no matter where you point, your audience’s eyeballs will still be jumping all over the place trying to take everything in. That creates a lot of opportunity for them to miss key bits of information. And this is where zooming becomes so powerful.

You could take that complex chart and create zoomable areas within it. Then ask your audience ‘Where would you like to start?’ and zoom into the data they seem most interested in. Even without asking them that question and still presenting in a linear way you’ll help the audience be able to fully focus on each key piece of data (the zoom in), and then make connections to the rest of the data when they return to the full overview of the chart (the zoom out). 

Presenting data

Summary

It is well known that when we allow our brains to make connections in this way, we can actually remember much more about what we have seen. And by zooming in and out, you are able to tap into your audiences spatial memory because they will feel as though they are moving through an environment rather than travelling through a series of slides.

If you want your audience to remember more, zooming can be a huge advantage when used correctly.

Part 3 - How to create zooms in PowerPoint & Prezi

In the third and final instalment of this series we will show you exactly how to create zooming presentations with PowerPoint and Prezi. Stay tuned!

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