Yes, be kind. Perhaps it’s not their fault. Maybe the subject matter they have to work with is just dull anyway and too difficult to bring to life. Maybe there really is nothing new or interesting to say that we didn’t already know. Or maybe some kind person told them that their presentation style is just great the way it is and they should stick with it.
OK, that’s about as much goodwill as I can manage for now. Because the reality is that any subject can be presented in an interesting and engaging way, if you take the trouble. Yes, I really mean that – any subject!
The first step is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do they already know and what is going to be really relevant and important to them. Then, just be imaginative. There must be an image you can use or a way of emphasizing the information you want to get across that is more arresting than a list of bullet points.
Then think about your delivery. Are you using strategic pauses? Do you speak to the back of the room in a measured way with a range of intonation? Or can you really not help talking at the lectern, reading out your slides in a dull monotone?