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Business Executives Admit to Dozing Through Boring Presentations

    Online News published in DMReview.com
November 3, 2005

Most executives have caught up on some shuteye during dull presentations, and those alert enough to stay awake have spotted other people taking naps, according to a survey by Infommersion Inc, the industry leader in data visualization software.

In a recent online poll of 382 business managers, 71 percent of respondents conceded to having fallen asleep or been sleepy during an uninteresting presentation. In addition, 43 percent have caught other people dozing.

The most difficult types of presentation to remain fully awake through were individual speeches (35 percent) followed by training sessions (23 percent) and then general meetings (16 percent). Webcasts revealed themselves as the easiest type of conference to stay alert throughout, with only 11 percent of respondents saying they found this difficult to sit through.

Survey participants agreed that the most important ingredient for success was an 'animated and enthusiastic' speaker (51 percent), with an 'interesting and interactive' presentation gaining 36 percent of the votes. Finally, 3 percent of those polled said it helped if the presenter was 'good looking'.

"Keeping people's interest during a lengthy, or even short presentation can often be quite a challenge, as our poll suggests," said Santiago Becerra, CEO of Infommersion. "Most complaints revolve around presenters who don't have that much personality or enthusiasm and presentations which are very text heavy and don't make good use of graphics and animation. Having a slide show that makes good use of data visualization tools can make the difference between holding an audience's attention and making an impact, or lulling people to sleep and thereby potentially wasting a good business opportunity."

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