Archive for April, 2011

Who are you talking to?

April 6, 2011

Effective Presentations Are About the Audience - NOT The Presenter

We’ve all been there. Presentations FILLED with information that is probably important. The presentation seems so boring though you can’t focus beyond the introduction and spend most of the time checking out the presenter’s clothes, teeth, eyes, underwear etc rather than focusing on the content of the presentation. To those presenters who have suffered the audience XRAY (where the audience literally looks at you with more detail than even an x ray scanner), I suggest you ask yourself just ONE question before you prepare your next presentation – WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO? Oh and one more question – WHY SHOULD THEY CARE?

Far too often presentations are developed focused solely on the importance of the content to be conveyed. While this approach may seem prudent, and YES much detail should be focused on accuracy and presentation style, such an approach is less the effective. Why? Today, tomorrow and forever audience really care about the W.I.I.F.M. – What’s In It For Me. Thus, unless you take significant time to to analyze your audience considering who they are, what they care about and why they should care about they content your are presenting and THEN tweak your presentation to suit that audience, chances are they’ll just be focused on YOU and miss all the important stuff you over populated those power point slides with.

Basic pre-presentation questions (beyond the alleged one I said presenters should ask themselves):

  • Who is in the audience?
  • What are their main concerns/ interests/ hobbies?
  • Why should they care about what I am going to say?
  • What examples of interest to THEM can I draw upon to help make my points more clear?
  • What doubts are they likely to have about y subject matter?
  • What about me/ in the room is likely to distract the audience?
  • What statements will be most interesting to them?
  • What should I NOT say as it is likely to offend them?

These are just a few. Master presenters cater their ENTIRE presentation to the needs/wants/ desires to their audience. Be a master presenter. Start by just answering – WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?

Go be better communicators