Learn how help your audience by clearly seeing their problems.
What’s going on here? I hope that your presentations don’t require this kind of effort for your audience to see whether you are addressing issues that really matter to them. Sometimes, if your topic is slightly off the mark, your audience scrambles to see its relevance. Sometimes, if you haven’t given enough background on the topic to your audience they are racing fruitlessly to catch up. Sometimes, if you topic is data heavy, it is presented in a confounding and complicated way without clarifying graphics, once again leaving your audience in the dark. Clear away the under brush. Be clear about what your audience wants from you and give it to them.
All of these oversights and missed opportunities can easily be fixed. The fix is at the heart of the best presenting mindset
1. find out about your audience. Take the direct approach and ask your host if you can get in touch with your audience via email. Once you are given permission ask these people what pains them about their jobs, and what delights them. Ask them how they’d like to be helped with their problems and what steps they’ve already taken that haven’t worked.
2. be certain that you understand what your audience already knows about your topic? Don’t bore them by giving them old news, but don’t assume that they know more than they do and leave them in the lurch. Meet them there at the threshold so that you and your audience can begin together on the same foot.
3. tailor your presentation to their responses to your questions. And when you begin your presentation, let your audience know immediately that you’ve listened to them and are responding with the help they’ve requested. This is a very powerful way to build the audience’s trust in you.
4. if your presentation requires that you work through detailed data, break it down into manageable chunks. Don’t assume, even if your audience is made up of accountants or bankers, that a spreadsheet is the best way to present financial information. You are showing number to underscore a point, to make a summation of a process so show the steps to your conclusion and remove the data detail to let the meaning of your point stand alone.
So that’s it. Find out what your audience wants to know; meet them where they are in the learning process; start by telling them you’ve listened; and break complex information down into meaningful chunks. Show them clearly what they want to know — and don’t make them crawl through the undergrowth to see it.
56 of 365. Lucia’s photo-a-day
Get Presenter Updates
Keep up to date with our FREE monthly newsletter.