Do you have to give boring presentations?

My next post is going to be on “How to make a boring presentation interesting”.

I’d like to make the post as relevant as possible to the problems you face giving presentations. So if you have to give a presentation that you think could be more interesting, I’d love to know:

  • the topic of the presentation
  • the audience to whom you would present on this topic
  • how you feel about this topic (eg: do you find it boring, or maybe you find it interesting but think it must be boring for your audience).

I may feature a couple of presentations as case studies and give specific advice on how they could be made more interesting. So this is an opportunity to get advice specifically for your presentation which could make a big difference the next time you have to present it.

Tell me about your presentation by adding a comment or you can e-mail me through my contact form.

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  1. We have a presentation about improving writing for teachers which lasts for half a day. The actual content is not boring it is just that we are presenting using the same type of slides that we always use (and have done so for 10 yrs). I think if I am honest it is me that is bored with the way they look.

  2. Hi Olivia,

    I think you’ve touched upon an important aspect of presentations. Technical presenters who don’t vary the pitch and rate and stand like a statue to deliver their stuff will benefit a lot from from your tips. Tom Antion calls such speakers “unlicensed hypnotists” !

    I’ve found relevant humor, especially one liners can make presentations more interesting. In an anti-smoking seminar, a post lunch speaker started his presentation with a quip – “Smoking helps you lose weight- one lung at a time !” He made the audience sit up in anticipation. His stuff better be good after that but he got that attention and I believe that is very important, especially if you have a dry topic.


  3. How’s this for boring? I train end users, ranging from very savvy PC users to people who think more than one button is too complicated, how to use a corporate multi-function device (print/copy/scan). Training takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how many. The only way to make it interesting is to make ME interesting.

  4. Jeb said it all … “The only way to make it interesting is to make ME interesting.”

  5. Jeb,

    I so feel your pain. I’ve been training MS Office applications for a few years now and in the classroom I always felt obligated to teach to (I hate to say it) the weakest link in the class, which always made the more advanced students bored. There are just very few ways I think to make “here’s how to use a mouse” interesting or entertaining to the masses.

    • If I’ve got one or two people who are particularly and obviously out of the pack in terms of aptitude (either above or below), then I tend to try to take them out of the group and schedule another session geared just for them. It’s easier than trying to be inclusive and makes everyone feel like they’ve got more individual attention.

  6. I have to sales presentations-figures budgets etc.It text figures and the like, do try to use images but it is death by powerpoint.