Creating An Effective Business Presentation – Know Your Audience

You have to give a presentation.

You are clear about what you want to accomplish.

Now it’s time to think about your audience.

You see the audience are the most important people when it comes to your presentation.

If you are giving a presentation at work then you should know the people that you are presenting to.

At other times you may have little or no insight but you need to get some insight quickly.

I deliver an evening seminar for professional associations and institutes from time on presenting.

Ahead of the evening I have little information about those that are coming along.

To quickly get some insight I ask them about their skill level asking them to rate themselves from beginner to advanced.

I’ll do a bit of networking ahead of the presentation to find out a bit about the work they do and the type of presentations they give.

How do you really get to know your audience ahead of a presentation?

What you can typically establish pretty quickly if it is a presentation at work is:

  • Who is going to be at the presentation?
  • The level of seniority of those that you are presenting to.
  • The level of knowledge or understanding of the subject of those that you are presenting to.
  • The level of interest in the subject.
  • Particular preferences and style of the audience.

Armed with answers to these questions you can really tailor what you create and deliver.

Remember too that the more senior the people you are presenting to are the more likely they are to be time limited.

As a result you have to get to the point and explain your rationale quickly.  For this group of your audience less is definitely more.

So next time you have to present, make a point of getting as much insight as you can into the audience and create and deliver with them at the forefront of your mind.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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