Unless you've been caught in a time warp the last few years, you'll have realized that presentation tools are an integral part of delivering an effective presentation. Your presentation may have informative content and professional delivery, but if you really want to connect with your audience, you'll want to consider the use of interactive tools.

Dynamic Delivery
Short attention spans are the bane of every presenter's existence. If you feel that your audience is using your presentation as an opportunity to grab a quick nap, it might be time to start thinking about a more dynamic delivery style. A great way to add some pizzazz to your presentation is to use a variety of multimedia tools to get your point across. For example, present your message using a PowerPoint presentation and then back it up with a video. Or present a competitive analysis and refer to Web pages intermittently. That way, you're reinforcing your point (which helps combat those short attention spans) and your presentation is more persuasive because several types of information are supporting your initial claim.

AV Overload
Anyone who's presented with a variety of multimedia equipment will be aware of the technical frustrations involved in trying to seamlessly integrate computers, videos, and audio effects (to name a few). A handy solution is a mobile multimedia cabinet. A good cabinet will come pre-configured with all of the necessary cables and wires, so that your equipment can be set up by a professional before your presentation begins. You just wheel the cabinet into the meeting room, plug it in, and you're ready to go. No more wrestling with cables and connections in the middle of your presentation. Instead, you can focus on your message rather than your equipment.

Creative Collaborations
A great way to shift your presentation from mundane to mesmerizing is to include a brainstorming session. Involving the audience will make your presentation more interesting for everyone. Plus, people are more likely to pay attention if there is a chance they might be called on to participate. Interactive whiteboards are an ideal way to incorporate a brainstorming session into a presentation. An interactive whiteboard provides all the advantages of a computer, combined with a traditional whiteboard. Using an interactive whiteboard allows you to switch back and forth between computer-based information and a whiteboard surface. Plus, you can save all of your notes to a computer file once your presentation is over.

Use Your Intuition
If the thought of delivering a presentation makes you break out in a cold sweat, intuitive tools should be your best friend! Presenters often avoid integrating technology into their presentations because they don't want to deal with the extra headache of learning how to operate new tools. One way to minimize those fears is to use intuitive tools. Touch-sensitive computer screens, for example, are a great way to make your delivery more natural when you're delivering a computer-based presentation. Using a remote mouse feels unnatural and can break your train of thought. Turning around to fiddle with a computer will break your connection with the audience. A touch-sensitive screen lets you use your finger as a mouse, so you don't even need to think about using unfamiliar technology during your presentation. Interactive whiteboards are an excellent way to utilize this technology as they provide touch sensitivity in conjunction with annotation capabilities and have a screen that's large enough for presentations. Check out interactive whiteboard.

Presentations have evolved to the point where a flipchart and pointer are no longer enough to engage your audience's attention. Busy schedules and increasingly creative multimedia tools mean that you need to engage your audience's senses as well as attention. So next time you're planning a presentation, make sure you look at integrating interactivity into your delivery. Play a video, add sound effects, or create some great visual aids your audience will thank you!

1. International Communications Industries Association, Inc.

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