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:
- 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.
- 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!
- Clarify the objective of the meeting right at the start to avoid any unnecessary ambiguity.
- Show the carrot by explicitly explaining what’s in it for the audience. It might sound shallow but be clear on the benefits upfront.
- Bring your personality into the presentation. Your audience does not want to listen to a robot. Be yourself and maybe share a relevant story.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t read slides. Your audience can do that at their own time. What is the story behind the slides?
- Leave time for questions and discussion. Allow participation and a dialogue.
- Have a clear Call to Action. What is the outcome of the presentation? Get a decision.
- Show your appreciation and thank your audience for their attention and participation. It will go a long way.