Business Presenting - It's Always About Your Audience!

BusinessPresentation

  • Author Milly Sonneman
  • Published September 22, 2011
  • Word count 562

Far too many presenters and subject matter experts focus on themselves, their topic, and their ability to answer questions. These are, of course, crucial skills.

However, if you only focus on these, you'll miss the target.

The number one "Rule" in presenting is: It's Always About Your Audience. In my training evaluations, I often ask senior managers, sales directors, and top leaders, "what's the concept you use most often?" The answer I get is:

"It's Always About The Audience!"

Think about this: you must investigate, evaluate, and refine your presentation to adapt to each specific audience. You can divide this into three categories.

  1. What do you know about your participants?

  2. What are their reasons for being in your presentation?

  3. What is the flow of your story to appeal to your audience?

Keep this in mind as you jump into planning your important business pitch or speech. It's not about your topic, data, or research.

I know. This is a mind bender. And it can take a moment to shift your focus. While you're digesting this, let me tell you a story.

Earlier this week, I spoke with a young woman. She was on fire about her new business, and planning to give presentations to attract funders. As she described the volumes of charts, diagrams, and maps, and PowerPoint slides, I got nervous.

It sounded like a perfect recipe for data overwhelm.

Clearly this wasn't her intention. So, I told her what I'm going to share with you right now:

Step away from your data. Step back from sharing every last chart, diagram, and slide. Move away from showing the entire chronological history of your project.

Instead, burn this single phrase in your mind:

It's always about your audience.

How much can your participants absorb in your 10-minute, 30-minute, or 60-minute presentation?

The answer: not that much!

Keep your message simple enough for your audience to absorb.

Whether you are a part-time presenter, or a full-time professional speaker, this is the single critical rule you must remember and use. If you want to master the fine art of presenting, and attract investors, your message must be simple. This will encourage smart decision-making, and win business results.

I'm sure you agree -- keeping things simple is a recipe for success.

In addition to understanding this conceptually, be sure to use it. Don't let this rule gather dust bunnies in the back of your closet. Put it into action.

Let's do this right now. It should take you less than two minutes to put this to use.

Are you really ready to present? Grab a pencil and find out. Answer yes or no for each line. Jot down ideas for actions you will take to be fully prepared.

What's your Presentation Readiness?

Are you confident in putting your audience first?

• Do you understand your audience issues?

• Are you aware of specific needs of individuals?

• Do you truly know why people are attending your talk?

• Are you adapting your story to match each specific audience?

Are you confident in customizing your story?

• Are you prepared and confident in your content expertise?

• Are you sharing your personal experiences?

• Are you showing and telling specific stories?

• Are you adjusting your story flow?

As you can see, with a small amount of action-oriented preparation, you can immediately apply the most important rule in presenting: "It's Always About Your Audience."

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/

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