Ways to Focus (and Maybe Even Participate) During Dull Presentations

One of the great benefits of technology is mobility — people can connect and work together from practically anywhere. To adjust to this workplace shift, small businesses often turn to online presentation software like join.me. However, join.me can't fix everything — like, say, a boring presentation. But with a little action on your part, you can make almost any presentation not just bearable, but valuable.

Here are five tips to keep awake and attentive during the dullest presentations.

1. Be an active participant. Just because the presenter is droning on and on doesn't mean you have to sit there and take it. Instead of tuning out, why not engage in the presentation? join.me's annotation feature gives you the ability to participate in the discussion. If you don't want to be vocal you can make notes, comment, and suggest changes the speaker can see. It's like drawing on a whiteboard. You can even send a message that says: "Please, keep it moving!"

2. Make to-do lists. Inactivity often makes people zone out when they're staring at a screen for a long time. Keep active by finding action steps from the content. By looking for items that will help your cause, you'll stay alert. Then just as soon as the speaker stops and you're done with the online meeting, take a moment to clarify next steps and make a to-do list before hanging up. Use tools like join.me's meeting scheduler to lock down a time for the next presentation and eliminate unnecessary scheduling hassles.

3. Have a little chat. If the presentation isn't stimulating enough, enhance it by chatting with some of the other attendees. If you're bored, it's likely they are too. Crack jokes and contemplate how you might help the presenter initiate some group involvement. On join.me you can do this quietly and privately without disturbing the other people involved.

4. Be a critic. Sitting through a boring presentation is actually a great learning opportunity. Everyone needs to hone his or her presentation skills. Now you can review the presentation at hand and dissect what makes it ineffective. Keep a list of each offense and determine what you would do differently. Think about how you might present on the same topic in an exciting and compelling manner. Afterwards, you might constructively share your feedback with the presenter so that the next presentation isn't quite as tedious

5. Go out and about. Why chain yourself to your desk during a boring presentation? join.me has free features that allow viewers to participate using their mobile devices. So instead of falling asleep on your keyboard, you can take the presentation to lunch, out for a walk, or even to the park. Then you can sit and enjoy the scenery, feed the pigeons, or people-watch while being available whenever the discussion turns your way.

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York. Follow him: 
@awesomeroar.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between join.me and Studio@Gawker.