What’s the point of creating a presentation with Prezi if no one is listening? There isn’t much of a point; that’s what. That’s why creating an engaging presentation is so vital. Even a beautifully designed Prezi canvas will fall short if you don’t focus on viewer engagement.

Below we look at a few of the best ways to create engaging presentations. Incorporate these tips into your next Prezi presentation and you’re all but certain to hold your audience captive.

1. Ice Breaker

Creating an engaging Prezi presentation isn’t just about the Prezi itself. It’s about the overall presentation. It’s important to start out your presentation by breaking the ice with your audience. A simple and fun introduction can help set the mood for the remainder of it.

A common technique is to ask the audience to introduce themselves to their audience neighbors. This requires engagement upfront and sets the pace for the rest of your presentation. It also lets the audience know that your presentation will continue to be interactive.

2. Focus on Stories

A great presentation is all about great stories. In fact, that’s why Prezi is known as a storytelling tool. The key to a successful presentation is giving examples to help your audience relate to what you’re talking about.

Stories also increase engagement. Even if the audience is unfamiliar with the particulars of your experience, they’ll want to know how the story pans out. They’ll want to know what’s next and how the story ends.

3. Include Videos

Videos are the perfect way to evoke an emotional response from your audience that would otherwise be difficult to get.

Fortunately, Prezi makes including videos easy. They provide a simple feature that allows you to seamlessly integrate YouTube videos into your presentation.

4. Non-Linear Presenting

The real power of Prezi is that you can design your presentation in a non-linear fashion. Unlike traditional presentation tools like PowerPoint, you don’t have to flip through slide after slide. Instead, you can organize your presentation how you like, showing the relationship between different ideas. You can then connect these ideas together to show the big picture relationship.

5. Ask Questions

Getting your audience to speak up and ask questions automatically involves them in what you’re talking about. It allows them to share your opinion.

An effective technique is to include several question periods throughout your presentation. It’s often recommended to do so every 10 minutes for ultimate engagement. You can even use tools like sli.do to allow audience members to ask questions anonymously. This way even those that are shy are included.

6. Include a Poll

Polls are one of the hottest new trends in the world of Prezi. They provide near instant engagement with the audience. Better yet, they not only encourage your audience to ask questions but to come up with their own answers. Including a live poll in your presentation also gives your audience a quick mental break.

7. Use Props

Using props throughout your presentation is another easy way to boost engagement. It doesn’t matter if you’re giving a product demo or not, props are almost always a good idea. Of course, they should have some relation to the topic you’re speaking on, but they don’t need to be an item for sale.

A perfect example is neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor’s prop at her recent TED Talk. She brought in a real human brain to supplement her Prezi presentation. She used the brain to show what happens when a human has a stroke. Does it get much more engaging than that?

8. Share the Limelight

The absolute best presentations aren’t focused on one person. The more people you can include in your presentation, the better. Whether that means inviting other speakers or asking the audience members to help with your story, sharing the limelight always increased engagement.

Creating an engaging presentation with Prezi is about more than just Prezi itself. Incorporate the tips and techniques discussed above with your next presentation and you’ll see for yourself just how much they boost overall audience engagement.