Presentation Skills [Series] Part 2 : Listen and Assess

Get your audience to listen to you

You need to think about the most crucial part of your presentation – your audience!

You may ask yourself, what do you want them to take away from the presentation? What would you like them to action, think or say once the presentation is done?

And before we even reach that point, you truly want to engage your audience with your presentation skills and make sure they listen.

Listening is a form of communication and you want your audience to hang off your every word. A presentation is a form of persuasion and is an excellent platform to introduce new products to a focus group or to give a product training session.

The audience will take action, even if the initial action is thought alone. You as the presenter need to shape that action in a way that will benefit the presentation you just gave.

Remember to adapt your message to your audience, which is, your presentation should speak directly to them. Persuade your audience to take action by telling a story and ensure that the action taken is in line with your goals.

Assess your audience

Are you addressing a crowd of predominantly technical people, therefore they are more left-brained? They would then require a more data driven presentation. If you’re addressing a more creative crowd the use of visuals and perhaps a bit of flamboyancy will go a long way.

There is also a possibility that you will be presenting to a mixed group of people and covering all arenas will be critical yet rather masterful on your part.

You may be addressing a group of sales people at a global conference and you would want to include sales stats from as many of the countries present as possible.

Or you could be addressing a group of students who are hoping to intern at your company. You could find out the subjects these students are studying and highlight which departments would be more in line with their studies.

Remember to assess your audience and their needs prior to presenting. It would help to speak some of the lingo from that particular group in your presentation giving them the opportunity to relate better to you.

Your take away for the week:

  1. Get the audience to listen to you : be relevant, your audience should relate to you

  2. Assess your audience’s expectations : what will their main take away be from your presentation?

Until next time, good luck with your upcoming presentations!

[Credit goes to David Beckett]