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On Super Bowl Sunday, a 6-Year-Old did something Peyton Manning couldn’t

He kept me paying attention, with a vested interest, until the very end of the game. And it’s a lesson that every presenter can use in their presentations.

As soon as we walked into the door of his house for a small Super Bowl party, 6-year-old Theo gave everyone a handout (click here to download it for yourself). It was a questionnaire asking for predictions on things that might happen during the game such as:

  • Which team would win the coin toss?
  • Which team would be the last to score before halftime?
  • Would the defense score a touchdown?
  • Will there be more than three field goals in the game?
  • Would Peyton Manning throw for more or less than 290 yards?
  • Would Russell Wilson throw for more or less than 210 yards?

The genius behind Theo’s handout was that you could get a question correct at any given time during the game. Some of these questions could be answered right away (the Seahawks won the coin toss). Some of these questions could be answered at halftime (the Seahawks were the last to score before halftime). Some questions could be answered at various times during the game (yes, there was a defensive touchdown… by the Seahawks). And we had to stick around for the entire game in order to find out who might have gotten the most questions correct. Would Russell Wilson pass for 4 more yards during the final possession or would the Seahawks run the ball? Theo’s activity kept me engaged, watching every play until the end of the game.

What can presenters take away from Theo’s activity? If a 6-year-old can keep a group of adults interested in the utter snooze-fest that was this year’s Super Bowl by putting a little effort into a 10-question handout, I think professionals who are passionate about their topics should be able to come up with a way to keep people interested in their topics.

Theo asked some questions whose answers unfurled themselves like a time-release capsule throughout the game. Whether you use a handout or not, presenters can use the same strategy – asking several questions at the beginning of a presentation and challenging the audience to see how many answers they can find throughout the presentation. Maybe the person with the most correct answers can even walk away with an autographed copy of your PowerPoint slides!

Think you have a better idea than Theo to keep your audience engaged from start to finish? Write it in the comment section.

Know someone else who might benefit from Theo’s strategy? Pass this along.

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