Have you ever attended a presentation where the speaker wouldn’t stop talking? Ever encountered a professor back in college who kept telling irrelevant stories without considering if it would benefit his students? How did they make you feel? Your audience experiences these situations, too.
As a presenter, your goal is to meet their expectations and satisfy their needs, one of which is getting something that’ll benefit them after discussing your message. To achieve this, you need to ask yourself how you’ll develop an audience-focused performance.
Here are some tips to ensure that your professional presentations are focused on your audience:
1. Know Your Audience
Do you have an idea for your pitch but don’t know where to begin? Think of your audience first. Knowing your audience can help you recognize what ideas or stories to tell. This is where planning comes in. Careful preparation requires thorough knowledge about what to include and what to remove, providing your audience with a more meaningful and relevant presentation.
Establishing a more engaging approach captures their interest better, ensuring they aren’t preoccupied with distractions like their smartphone apps. Be familiar with what they want and need so you can easily prepare your script.
In order to gauge what to discuss, research your audience and look up what they know versus what you have to offer. Don’t use difficult language that they won’t understand. If you want to be memorable and efficient, always address your listeners in terms that they’re familiar with.
2. Identify Your Objectives
Knowing your audience involves finding your presentation’s purpose. Do you want them to take action? Do you want them to accept your ideas? Do you want them to talk about your message with their colleagues?
This lets you know where you’re heading and helps you organize your thoughts, preventing you from confusing your audience. Keep these questions in mind as you prepare the structure of your presentation to serve as a guiding outline when you finally face the crowd.
3. Familiarize Yourself with Your Audience’s Profile
Knowing what language and tone of voice to use will help you in addressing your listeners. Understanding their background, on the other hand, helps you properly manage your script and develop a more effective message that best suit your audience’s concerns.
While it’s essential not to overdo the jargon, it’s also important to offer something new. Figure out what part of your subject matter your audience already knows so you won’t reiterate points they’re already familiar with.
4. Spot the Benefits
Your audience should be the center, the main reason that you’re pitching. If they stop listening to you, you’ve defeated your presentation’s purpose. Your message should be relevant to engage them and bring them satisfaction.
Remember that people aren’t initially interested in how they can help you. They want to know what you can give them. With this thought in mind, always present audience benefits first to pique their interest and keep their attention.
Understanding how an audience-focused approach benefits you and your audience lets you easily capture their attention, leading you to a more effective and engaging performance.
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“A Presentation Expert’s Guide to Knowing the Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 28, 2015. Accessed August 12, 2015.
“Communication Skills: Persuasion, Audience Analysis.” The Total Communicator. Accessed August 12, 2015.