Make Your Presentations POP!

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13877

Slideshows and presentations don't have to be dry! Punch up your work to keep your audience engaged using graphic, audio, and visual elements.


Software and Applications, Verbal Communication

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever sat through a boring presentation?

bored professional bulldog

  • Did you retain much of the information from that presentation?

When audiences are interested and engaged, they are more likely to learn from your presentation.

Learn how to hook your audience and keep them interested with graphic, audio, and video elements!

When giving a presentation, first identify what you want your audience to take away from it.

  • Ultimately, what do you want them to remember from what you've said?
  • What do they need to know to have a basic understanding of the material you presented?

Those are the things you built your multimedia elements around.

When considering what elements to incorporate into your presentation, you want to choose things that add to your presentation only. You don't want to fill the space with fluff or too many competing elements. This will actually distract your audience from what you're trying to convey.

Say vs. Show


Your slideshow or other visual presentation is an aid to your overall presentation. Meaning, what you say is the foundation.

What you say to the audience is your oral presentation or speech. This is where the narrative of your information is presented. This is your opportunity to connect with your audience on a person-to-person level to present your topic.

Your audience isn't going to remember everything you say, even if you give the most compelling speech of all time. But, with the right visual presentation support, they will retain more of the important details after your presentation ends.

Think of your oral presentation as a way to connect with your audience emotionally, and your visual presentation as an opportunity to embed and reinforce the data and details of your presentation.

engaged audience


What you show is a tool to enhance the information you're delivering. What you show should:

  • engage the audience and keep them interested
  • boil down information to the most important points to encourage retention
  • add images, audio, and video that will increase the audience's understanding of your presentation

However, what you show should NOT:

  • restate exactly what you are saying
  • provide a transcript of your oral presentation
  • cram too much information or stimuli in that distracts the audience
  • provide you with a crutch so you don't have to be familiar with your material

Dos and Don'ts

dos and donts

There are a variety of presentation applications you can use to enhance an oral presentation. Some things will be the same across whichever platform you choose, but each application works a little differently.

Check out POWERPOINT DO'S & DONTS FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING, from Dominic Colenso, for quick, helpful tips that apply across platforms:

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  • Ready to see what this looks like in action?

Click through to the Got It? section.

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