Designing Presentations – Competing For Audience Attention



I guess the hardest part of any presentation is to get the attention of your audience. Motivation is the key that keeps a presenter going through a presentation, but if you see people yawning or texting while your slides are on, it will surely sink your motivation down. And sometimes, it just cannot be helped because getting the attention of all of your audience is the toughest job on this earth. But there are some tricks that can be used while presenting any topic to keep your audience engaged. Want to know what are those? Well, keep reading.


Keeping the attention of your audience towards you is like petting a bird without any cage. It will fly away as soon as it gets the chance. The same happens with the attention of the audiences. It is hard to keep their attention to the speech when they have got Smartphone on their hand, no? So, if you want to attract all the attention to yourself, you need to know about some tricks. Only good content and an excellent speech are not going to help you. Let us have a look.

While presenting a topic, you can attract the attention of your audience or your client in the following two ways–

  • Through the great speech and your body language
  • Through building up a great presentation slide.

It is quite easy to attract the attention by giving up a great speech or by a good body language, but it is not easy to keep the attention solely by your presentation slides. So, here in this article, we will talk about the tougher one, i.e., how to keep attention by presenting a great designed presentation template. Let us have a look.



We all know the basics of a presentation– good content and good speech. If we all know these basics, how come some presentations end up great and some do not? Because the basics are not enough! There’s always room for more. Surely, there are no miracle formulas to work out a presentation but designing your presentation template creatively is one of the best ways to present a good presentation or at least it will be an attention-grabbing presentation. So, how to do it? Let us have a look.

  1. Simplicity– While designing a template, always keep the beauty of simplicity intact. Beginners always try hard to keep it funky with lots of graphics and overwhelming information, but actually, people like it to be simple. You can overload your slides afterward, but not at the beginning. The beginning of a slide is where the first impression is being created. So, if you go way out the line of the taste of your audience, they might not pay attention for the rest of your slides at all.
  2. Focal point– The second tip is to keep your focal point to a minimal. I bet you have heard the term focal point in photography, i.e., focus on your subject. First, identify which subject you want to draw the attention on of your audience in a slide and design it in such a way. If you want to attract the attention to ‘Free Entry’ copies, make that part bolder, coloured or somehow different from the rest of the slide.
  3. Surprise your audience– The next step to this method is to surprise your audience. State some sarcastic comments or some comments on your slide in such a way that it surprises the audience such as “50% of adults think Santa Claus is real” or “Cigarettes are healthier than candies” etc. In a nutshell, make bold statements and shocking facts which will nudge your audience hard in the back. It will make them curious to know more and this trick always work, no matter what your presentation topic is.
  4. Compelling headlines– When we first see any pamphlet, our eyes first rest on the headlines; it is the basic human instinct. Once we find the headline interesting, we read the whole content, no? The same psychology works while you are presenting too. If you have a creative mindset, put all the efforts in making a compelling headline that will grab the attention of the audience such as ‘Snapchat secrets revealed.’ Depending on the age and interest of your audience, put compelling headlines accordingly.
  5. Be funny– Be it a date or a presentation, being funny never fail the game. A good sense of humour makes us feel relaxed always. Thus when you attach a funny graphic picture or some pun-intended texts on your slides that will help to grab the attention of your audience a lot! However, it is important to note that not every kind of puns works for every audience. Try to study your audience first and then place your humour. Also, do not try to force it. Jokes are funny when they come naturally.
  6. Visual Hierarchy– Visual hierarchy is one of the important elements in a presentation. While designing a presentation template, you always have to keep the visual hierarchy intact. The visual hierarchy can be maintained by putting a simple image or a video or audio that depends on your presentation slides.
  7. Experiment with your design– It is really crucial that your experiment with your designs and concepts. Without putting much effort in experimenting, you cannot grab the attention of the audience ever. Out of the box, the experiment might cost your sometimes, but it will surely succeed in grabbing the attention of your audience at once. Be it an unusual picture or an unusual audio, experiment always works. However, keep it related to your presentation topic.
  8. Smash the expectation– Break the expectation of your audience. Of course, do not do something that will make them leave the hall but put your slide and texts in such a way that will smash their all previous experiences.
  9. Contrast– Contrast refers to the degree of differences between two elements; be it colours, shapes or lines. Contrast plays a great role in grabbing the attentions of your audience. Mostly, try to keep a contrast difference between your background colour and your text. Also, you can use this contrast theory in bigger aspect as well.
  10. Visual communication– Verbal communication is so outdated nowadays. If you want to keep your audience engaged to your presentation, visual communication should be added. Just do not write up the message in a plain way. Rather add relevant images, statistics, and it will work fine as a visual communication tool.
  11. Play with different mediums– Do not keep your medium same throughout the whole presentation. Try to change the medium in every slide. And if you want to grab the attention, use trendy mediums such as GIFs. On every social media, GIFs have been very famous and the most used medium. So adding a little animation to your presentation slides may express a better message.
  12. Cognitive Dissonance– There’s no better way to grab the attention of your audience than to keep them guessing. If you can make your audience’s mind curious, it is likely they will pay more attention than any other regular time. Do not reveal all the information in one slide. Rather design your presentation templates in such a way that it creates a puzzle that unveils the secret of this presentation layer by layer. You can use graphics, GIFs, text or anything else you want.
  13. Storytelling– It is a common saying that stories sell more than facts. So, present a story in front of your audience. It could be verbal communication or it could be communicated through your presentation templates. If you want to have all the attention, stories should be included.
  14. Involvement– Involvement is the key to have the attention of your audience. If your audience is not involved, you cannot have the attention. So, put up a question on your slide or play games and design your presentation templates in such a way. It will always work in every kind of presentations.
  15. A good summary– And at the end of your presentation, provide your audience with a good summary. Or you can put the summary in part by part too. All you have to do is to make them know about their gain from this presentation. It will not only interest them but it will keep their attention throughout the whole presentation too.


In a nutshell, you have to design your presentation templates in such a way that it pleases the audience. Not every kind of audience is pleased with all types of slides. So, before your presentation, have your necessary research about what kind of audiences or clients you are going to entertain first. Once you get to know about their classification, you can choose among the above points easily. Always keep your confidence and have good content up. Happy Presentation!