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Finding Common Ground: Key to Professional Presentations

Inevitably, you’ll encounter a crowd of listeners with highly mixed and diverse backgrounds.

Their differences can be in levels of knowledge, perspectives, responsibilities, and expectations. They’ll likely have concerns that mirror their diversity.

You want to address all their issues without taking too much time presenting.

At the same time, you want to make sure your approach caters to all their learning needs.

Professional speakers can bridge the gaps inbetween by finding common ground to optimize their presentation.

Understand Their Perspective

Always begin by finding out as much as you can about who you’ll be presenting to.

If possible, request help from intermediaries to get you in contact with people who’ll be attending your presentation.

Find out as much as you can about their experiences and competencies, their important concerns and questions, and their preferences in enjoying presentations.

In case you can’t talk to them personally, ask people of similar backgrounds to give you an idea of what you need to do to better prepare.

If you’re unable to get in contact with your potential audience in advance or ask people of similar qualifications, come to the venue early. You can use this extra time to mingle with your audience before the appointed time.

Not only will this lessen your chances of running late, it’ll also make you look more professional because the audience will see that you don’t waste anybody’s time.

Identify and Avoid Misunderstandings

Sometimes, an investment pitch will be unsuccessful because the audience misunderstood or misinterpreted information.

Usually, you can answer questions through a Q&A session after your main presentation.

However, you can avoid this problem altogether by researching your information and checking your facts correctly.

Don’t get tangled in an awkward situation where an audience member catches you on factual mistakes. This embarrassment can cost you potential clients.

Also, base all of your arguments on clear data. Avoid jumping to conclusions based on incomplete raw numbers or facts.

Don’t prematurely claim a long-term upward trend in profits based on just one week of data with a sample size of one sole company.

The one thing an audience will hate more than being confused is being willfully deceived.

Connect the Dots

Now that you know what your listeners have in common, you can easily craft a message that speaks to each of them, while sounding like you understand them as a whole.

Based on what you’ve found out about them, you can easily determine which stories or metaphors the whole crowd can relate to.

This will also help you determine if you can speak in a more conversational tone or if it would be safer to use a more formal tone.

Knowing the composition of your audience also lets you decide the amount of jargon you can let through with your speech. You wouldn’t want to seem highfaluting while explaining to a crowd of marketers, would you?

Common Ground

A diverse group of listeners requires an approach that caters to each one of them, while also connecting with all of them simultaneously.

Getting into their head allows you to best cater your message for your mixed audience.

Proper and responsible research and fact-checking avoids embarrassing situations and misinformation.

All of this guides your message and allows you to deliver it to best inform, engage, and convince.

Find the common ground to radiate a credible professional vibe for any presentation opportunity.



About SlideGenius

SlideGenius.com is your PowerPoint presentation specialist for business. Based in San Diego, California, SlideGenius has helped enhance the presentations of more than 1000+ clients all over the world, including J.P. Morgan, Harley-Davidson, Pfizer, Verizon, and Reebok, among others. Let us help you with your presentation needs!