Updated: Jul 31, 2020
I'd like to have a dollar for every client who's warned me that they have to present "dry" content that can only be presented in one way.
Oh, wait--I do have dollars from them.
The "I'm forced to present cold, dry subject matter" is usually a declaration of surrender, but it doesn't have to be.
It's true that lot of industries have reputations of being "less-than-interesting". Accounting, some B2B work and most government jobs comes to mind.
Bad news or dark content, such as layoffs and cutbacks, can also be challenging to deliver.
But there are two reasons that you should never stop trying to do better with these types of presentations: 1) You can do better and 2) Audiences deserves your best.
Here are a few things you can do to improve dry, lifeless content:
Reformat the room to a "warmer" seating arrangement
Use a warm expression and tone (smile, if appropriate)
Ask open questions that inspire thought and dialog
Show interesting images instead of slides with texts
Tell success stories instead of showing bullet points
Dip your dry content into "wet" analogies and metaphors
Have a clear, specific call to action that involves the audience
Get presentation coaching that sets you up for success
Remember that you're not the only person in the world (or even in your industry) presenting dry content or under less than desirable circumstances. Find out who does it better than you and model those speakers.
Never give up on finding ways to better connect with your audience. They deserve it and so do you. Reach out if you want help. You and I can jump on a call and get you some relief pretty quickly.