Why so serious? Liven up your next PowerPoint by incorporating some of these fun presentation ideas. Your audience will thank you for it.
Snowboarding is fun. Surprise birthday parties are fun. Rollercoaster rides and hot tubs are fun. PowerPoint presentations? Not so much. A PowerPoint presentation can be many things – engaging; striking; amusing; motivational – but fun? It’s not a descriptor you often hear applied. Well, we here at Buffalo7 beg to differ. We believe it’s possible to put the F-word into PowerPoint. Not on every occasion, admittedly – we’ve yet to project manage a shareholders’ presentation that could reasonably be described as fun – but there are certainly times when that three-letter word applies.
Fun presentation ideas
Only you can decide whether there’s grounds for livening up your presentation with a liberal application of the F-word. But if you do believe the topic and the audience will permit, then allow us to sow the seeds for some light-hearted fun. Here are 11 zany and left field fun presentation ideas that will get your message across far better than any solemn slideshow ever could. Set the fun to facts ratio just right and your audience will be too enthralled to blink, never mind fidget, yawn or reach for their phones.
Axe the text
All of it. Kill it all. Instead, treat your audience to a slideshow composed of images only, freeing their imagination and allowing the power of the pictures to do the talking. Actually, that’s a lie – you’re still going to have to do the talking, and what’s more you’re going to have to work twice as hard with no bullet points to prompt you. A text-free PowerPoint presentation? Fun if you can pull it off. Not much fun if you forget your train of thought and freeze.
Add some humour
Comedy is like catwalk modelling; you’ve either got it or you don’t. Learning to be funny isn’t the easiest of arts to master, so only employ humour if you think you can pull it off. If you’re not sure, get a friend – the sort who knows you well enough to deliver brutal home truths when they’re needed – to listen to you run through your talk. As for the type of humour that can be deployed, puns are more likely to induce groans than giggles, while one-liners need to contain killer punchlines if they’re to fly. Instead, we’d suggest a little self-deprecating humour; think confessional comedy based around a revelatory anecdote. This will come across as far more genuine than attempting to go full Jimmy Carr.
Use a prop
We often talk about the power of pictures to provoke a reaction. Well you know what’s even more powerful than pictures? The actual objects shown in those pictures. If you’re presenting about the freshly baked cookie company you’re seeking to fund, bring some cookies. If your presentation is about the benefits of saving, bust out an umbrella when you get to the rainy day analogy. From a tiny coin to an incredibly large elephant, anything can be a prop if you’re brave enough (and if it will fit into the conference room).
Use emojis instead of text
This is a divisive one, we’ll admit. Replacing the text in your slideshow with emoji pairings would be a brilliant means of getting your audience to follow along, if only to decipher each combination. That said, replacing emojis with text sounds like the sort of scheme destined to be dreamed up by every brand manager at every corporation ever. In other words, if you wanna run with this idea, you’d better do it quick before the rest of the world gets wind of it and your genius scheme goes from cool to kitsch in less time than it takes to type a 🙁
Make it personal
Scrap the stock photos and use photos you took yourself. If it’s your startup you’re talking about, why not? It’ll make the whole experience more personal and more authentic. Provided they’re not too maudlin or filled with humble brags, personal photos and stories will resonate with an audience.
Everyone loves a competition. One minute your audience thought they were being dragged into Conference Room 3 for another infernal health and safety talk. The next they’re on the edge of their seats, having been promised a prize for spotting the word that you deliberately didn’t use once during the whole presentation. Remember: it’s not about the prize, it’s about the taking part, and if you can convince all those assembled to take part, you’ve already won.
Do the opposite
Delivering a presentation on what makes good design? Create atrocious slides laden with examples of what not to do. Mismatch fonts. Deploy cute kittens like confetti. Unleash the Comic Sans. Throw in some shadow effects and naff PowerPoint animations for good measure. It’ll hurt their eyes, but they won’t be able to stop looking.
Present to the senses
We have five senses. How can you stimulate them all during a presentation? Play rousing music. Hand out Haribo sweets. Open a jar of coffee beans or peanut butter or whatever delectable wares your company happens to make and let them inhale the heavenly aromas. Conjure a kaleidoscopic multi-sensory experience that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Play musical chairs
Halfway into your presentation, get your audience to stand up and remove a chair. Have them walk in a circle until you click on your next slide, whereupon it’s a race to be seated first. This may sound ridiculous, but if you were a PT addressing a corporate crowd on the benefits of moving regularly throughout the day, we’ll wager it would work a treat.
Give ‘em a freebie
Everyone loves free stuff. It doesn’t have to be expensive; a branded keyring, a piece of homemade fudge; some nail polish. If it’s relevant to your brand, product or message, treat your audience to a little something and instantly buy yourself at least ten minutes’ goodwill.
Break all the rules
We’d love to hear of someone successfully delivering a presentation in reverse, like the movie Memento. Or of an orator who climbs out of their suit to reveal a superhero costume underneath. We salute anyone who’s brave enough to genuinely do something fun and different, not for shock value, but to actually enhance their presentation and drive their message home.
Liven up your next PowerPoint with these fun presentation ideas and you’ll be doing the whole room a favour. You have fun. Everyone watches. Everyone wins.