10 Presentation Tips to Keep Your Audience from Falling Asleep 

Amanda Sahawneh | Vector Marketing

As I walk off stage, the bright lights blinding me, the crowd goes WILD in applause!

When I first started giving presentations, I thought I just needed to have really good content. That’s the whole point of a presentation, right? To present the tasked material. WRONG!

You can have the greatest content in the world, but that won’t matter if your audience isn’t listening. A presentation is not just about the content; it’s also about getting your audience excited to hear what you have to say.

So, let’s get into some tips to keep your audience alert and ready to absorb your content.

Know Your Topic

The more confident you are in the actual “stuff” you’re talking about, the more relaxed you will be to connect with your audience. You also don’t want to find yourself in a mind cycle of what to say while in front of people.

Know Your Audience 

Who are you talking to? Whether it’s a group of 5 or 500, you’ll want to tailor your content in a way that’s relevant to them. If you’re talking to career professionals, you aren’t going to an example of a student studying for finals because they wouldn’t relate to it as well they would to an example of a project deadline.

Use Stories and Examples

This helps your audience connect to the information and understand how it’s important. It allows them to picture your point. If you’re giving a presentation on time management, tell a story about how John implemented skills to get a promotion.

Make Jokes

Getting people to laugh is a great way to grab their attention. Obviously, you’re not going to Google knock-knock jokes. Instead, you could make a funny quip about what you are presenting on.

Grab Them in Your Opening

How you start will have people either listening or doodling. Use a story, joke, or definition that’s entertaining and attention-grabbing.

Use Visual Aids

No one likes to look at a bunch of words on a screen. Utilize a power point with relevant pictures or memes. You can even incorporate props.

Channel Energy

Your audience will never have more energy than you do. Be enthusiastic! The great thing is, you have the ability to change their energy through yours. Get good rest, stay hydrated, and arrive early to mentally prepare yourself before you present.

Engage the Audience

Get your audience involved in your message. You can bring someone onstage to demonstrate something for you or, even simpler, ask a basic question and prompt them to raise their hand – “Who’s ever felt that way?”

Watch Other Presenters

Pay attention to the ways others have grabbed your attention. Was it their energy, jokes, stories, PowerPoint?  Take those things and apply it to your own presentation.


Keep It Simple, Silly. People can only take in so much information at once. Review the main points you want them to grasp and focus on that. Have a few key phrases that they can walk away with.

If you have any questions or would like further guidance, please feel free to email me at ASahawneh@cutco.com.

This article was written by Vector West Camus Recruiting Manager, Amanda Sahawneh. Vector Marketing is a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. You can follow Vector Marketing on Twitter @VectorMarketing.

Categories: Collegiate Competitive Events, Home Page Compete, HS Competitive Events, Presentation Prep, Strategies