A Simple Hack To Make Presentations More Engaging

A Simple Hack To Make Presentations More Engaging

Have you ever faced this dilemma on how to make presentations more engaging? Recently, I gave a 20-minute presentation via video conference (Zoom). I had given a similar presentation at an in-person event and had used a few slides as illustrations along the way. However, I purposely avoided making the presentation slide-heavy. The slides were the garnish, not the main meal. The speech was well received, and attendees were engaged. Great – that is what I was hoping to create.

Now, being asked to present on Zoom, I faced a dilemma. Slides or no slides? Traditionally, when the speaker uses screen share to show slides, the speaker him/herself is seen in a small window on the side. Now, the speaker is the garnish, and the slides are the main meal. I decided to skip the slides. The feedback was good, yet, at least one person said they would have loved to see a couple of images alongside my speech.

A Trial Run And a Vision In The Making

How can we show slides when we speak virtually without losing the connection to our audience by being shown stamp-size on the screen?

Thanks to a Toastmasters friend I became aware of Prezi. It turns out we can have the best of both worlds, even in a remote setting – seeing the speaker and having visuals that further illustrate the point.

In the video below, I show my first trial run of using Prezi for an immersive way to present. I imported my PowerPoint slides into Prezi, and gave it a go. Take a look.

A few remarks:

  • You can import Google slides or PowerPoint slides.
  • You can build the presentation in Prezi to start with.
  • You can use templates and animations.
  • You can record your presentation or present it over Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.
  • I can see using this tool for recording video lessons of your brilliance! It can be a powerful alternative to Zoom plus screen share, Loom recordings, or perhaps even OBS.
  • I have only scratched the surface of what is possible with this tool (but you know me, implement fast and learn more as you do it).


I’m Curious

Have you ever used Prezi? Or, if not, is it time to try it out?


Greetings, Dr. Stephie here. 

I am using a tool that is new to me called Prezi Video. It looks fantastic. As you can see, it’s immersive. You can use text boxes like this, where you say “greetings,” and even embed PowerPoint slides you may have already made. 

In this nugget, I will discuss the counter-intuitive way of being an expert. The questions are

  • If you’re an expert the way we normally are taught, how much brilliance are you losing due to this? 
  • Do you consider yourself brilliant, or maybe better yet, do you have some brilliance that may be easier to say yes to now? 

Remember that what I’m talking about when I say “brilliance” is your expertise, experience, and wisdom. Sometimes, people have a hard time admitting they have any of it. When you think about it, you’ll probably not have difficulty admitting that you have expertise. You are an expert, and that’s why you get paid. Agreed?!

Meet Bill 

Bill is someone I’ve worked with. I changed his name, but he has a staffing company that is operating in a particular niche. Bill has developed a “secret sauce” for creating this unbreakable match between employees and employers, in other words, the job candidates that come to him and the companies that come to him to find those employees. 

It has been challenging to teach the secret sauce to his employees. Certainly, he has managed to teach it partially. Yet, some aspects of that secret sauce are very hard for Bill to teach. It’s like bashing your head. You try it in different ways, but it’s difficult. Part of that is because Bill is not even completely aware of all aspects of his secret sauce. There is a certain gut feeling to his secret sauce that was difficult for him to teach. 

We got together, and within six weeks, we had a very good draft of the secret sauce. We made it visual and made it fun to teach. Initially, it was just a PowerPoint (but structured as a course with sections and lessons). He’d already hired two new recruiters and used that PowerPoint to teach them. It went very well. 

Then, we took the next step, using a Learning Management System (LMS) to make it even better. 

That’s the process I recommend: Extract that brilliance, make it functional, and put it into use. You see how well it works and what else needs to be added to it or made clearer. There is this iterative living, breathing aspect to this. 

What Is Your Brilliance?

The question is, what is your brilliance – now that you know what I mean by “brilliance” and that it’s not something that just Elon Musk or Einstein have, but you do, too. I invite you to take the initiative because here’s what will happen if you don’t. If you don’t take the initiative, it’s almost certain that you will experience double death. I mean, we all die at some point. There’s no way around it. 

What Happens To Your Expertise?

If you take your expertise and brilliance to the grave because you follow the normal teaching approach, too late. This is what we’ve been taught to do great. We keep our expertise close to our chest because we fear otherwise that we may not be the indispensable expert anymore. We may or may not be conscious of this. Or there’s another issue: we don’t have time. Either way, we don’t make the time. This is really what it was down to that. Then there’s this double death. Not good, obviously. 

However, if you do what Bill did, he was on this trajectory where It would have been very hard to sell this company for what it’s worth without him in it because the secret sauce was largely in his head. How can you sell a secret sauce that’s in your head? You can’t unless you want to sell your head with it. That might be detrimental to your health. You can leverage your brilliance when you do what Bill and I did together. Everybody, of course, at first thinks about money. That’s valid because we’re doubling the builds company. It’s a $6 million company that, according to his estimates.

He said: “If I can teach that secret sauce to all of my salespeople and all of my recruits, and they get it and implement it, then I can double my company revenue, my company’s revenue in just the first year.” 

  1. The return on investment is incredible because it’s $6 million the next year and $6 million more the following year. That’s not even considering the company’s expansion, so yes, money.
  2. Then, there’s time to think of new things. If you don’t, you become stale. You can’t afford to get stale in this environment where things proceed quickly. 
  3. Then there’s freedom, which goes hand in hand with time. I already mentioned innovation. There’s a huge growth opportunity because we have limited bandwidth. If we go with limited bandwidth, then, well, we can’t grow. We can’t scale. 
  4. Then there’s legacy because the vast majority, I would say just about everyone I work with, dust care about legacy, leaving something behind. That doesn’t just mean leaving it behind when you quit, retire, or pass away. No, it means leaving a legacy while you’re still there and moving on to the next step of your career, your next innovation, and so forth. It also means that.

What Path is Bill on Now? 

Well, he is growing his company, scaling it. He’s getting to the point where, you know, he’s training his people to do things the way that he does, including that gut feeling. People are being trained to have more of Bill’s gut feeling. That’s just priceless. 

That means he loves fishing and spending time with his kids and wife. When we first, you said, I’ll take you rest when I retire. Now I can see him, you know, going to Alaska on a fishing trip and things like that. He recently went to a camp with his daughters. Those experiences are also really priceless. Isn’t it? 

What is your brilliance? We’ve talked about:

  • Brilliance, 
  • Taking initiative 
  • Leverage. 

I’m inviting you to take one minute right now and write down what you think is your brilliance and what other people would miss the most if you were just suddenly not there for a time, let’s just say six months, to be on the safe side. For many, it could be as little as a week or as little as a day. What do people call you when you are not there and ask for help? That’s a clue. 

I’m Curious

What’s your brilliance? Drop me a line. I would like to know more about what you discover because he sees brilliance, this whole brilliance, mining conversation, and a counter-intuitive way of being an expert. It’s a journey of discovery, and it has something to do with uncovering your gifts because there are a lot of them that you’re not even completely aware of, that you don’t completely appreciate and give yourself credit for. That is another blessing that comes out of this work. People often say to me, Stephie, I didn’t know I had this much brilliance, which is a fun side effect of this work. 

I wish you a great day and drop me a line.