Presentation Tips: What does your audience want?

Presentation Tips
The foundation of a great presentation is to understand your audience’s needs

Presentations are a powerful medium for business communication, second only to emails! A great presentation can turn skeptics of your ideas into firm believers. A bad presentation, on the other hand, can alienate your audience forever.

It’s critical therefore to understand your audience. Put yourself in their shoes.

Here are things your audience expects:

  1. Be punctual by starting and ending in time. There is nothing worse than showing up late to your own presentation. Equally important, is to manage the time and finish on schedule.
  1. Have a clear agenda which should ideally be circulated 24-48 hours earlier. This will prepare and structure the discussion. Make sure you stick to it!
  1. Clarify the objective of the meeting right at the start to avoid any unnecessary ambiguity.
  1. Show the carrot by explicitly explaining what’s in it for the audience. It might sound shallow but be clear on the benefits upfront.
  1. Bring your personality into the presentation. Your audience does not want to listen to a robot. Be yourself and maybe share a relevant story.

    Goldfish have a higher attention span than us
    Goldfish have a higher attention span than us
  1. Don’t beat around the bush. Even Goldfish have a higher attention span than the average human. So, get to the point. A bit of suspense is good, but don’t overdo it.
  1. Have a story. Think of how engaging children’s storybooks are. Build the presentation like that- the context, the plot, the twist and the end.
  1. Don’t read slides. Your audience can do that at their own time. What is the story behind the slides?
  1. Leave time for questions and discussion. Allow participation and a dialogue.
  1. Have a clear Call to Action. What is the outcome of the presentation? Get a decision.
  1. Show your appreciation and thank your audience for their attention and participation. It will go a long way.

Happy Presenting.


photo credit: When faculty and staff come together via photopin (license)
photo credit: Fish via photopin (license)


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