There are two types of people in the audience – those who want to be there and those who don’t.
The keen beans are interested – they love you and want to know more about your story, ideas and plan to change the world (or a small part of it).
Then there’s those who are part of a conference or sent from the office. They’re not initially engaged and don’t see the value straight up.
Your role is to convert and convince both. It’s imperative you understand who’s in the room and why. Everything you do and say is done with your audience in mind.Ask yourself these audience questions when planning your next presentation:
- Who is my audience?
a. Why are they here?
b. What is their gender / age / education?
c. What’s the power dynamic / hierarchy? Who is the decision maker?
d. What resistance might I find?
- What is interesting to them?
- Are they there to learn? Or do I want them to do something?
- What do I want them to THINK, FEEL or DO?
- What is my ‘Call to Action’? What do I want people to do or say after my presentation
Then incorporate these insights:
- Create and maintain audience participation online and offline; share stories.
- Ensure clear structure and focus of relevant information.
- Provide new information.
- Consider content and design: use visual language that is easy to understand and compliments your message.
- Use emotions to ignite their senses and increase retention.
A case study in understanding and communicating to your audience. As we have seen in recent weeks, addressing the concerns and fears of your audience in a simple and compelling message is incredibly powerful.
- Know your audience biggest issue
- Repeat a simple compelling message
- Change how they think, feel and act
Remember, the most important person in the room is not actually you! It’s worth taking the time to analyse your audience; a bad presentation can kill your career – but a great one can catapult it.
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This post was originally published by Emma Bannister on Presentation Guru