You need to know your presentation audience. If you do, then success is far more likely. If you do not know your presentation audience, then you are likely to face significant problems.
Take a look at the quote below.
“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”
This approach may have worked for Michael Scott in “The Office”, but it is unlikely to work for you in your next presentation.
Knowing what you want to say is important, but knowing who you are saying it to is just as important.
Knowing your audience is a crucial element of every successful presentation.
Anyone who has ever had to give a presentation will have been told, “Know your audience”, but very few people get advised on how they might do this.
As a starter, try some high-level audience analysis.
Ask (and get answers to) the following:
Who is in the room?
What level of understanding will they have?
What attitudes will they possess?
What are their expectations of you?
This is important because an audience centred approach allows you to be more effective.
When is the best time to do this?
In short, as early as possible. Try to ask and get answers to the questions before you begin your preparation. Don’t wait until you have done the heavy lifting – ask before you prepare, so that you have your audience in mind as you prepare.
Getting answers to the four questions above will put you ahead of most speakers.
Preparing your key messages in a way that matches the expectations of your audience and that speaks directly to the level of experience they have is the best way to ensure that you will start every sentence knowing exactly where it is going.
(For another presentation tip take a look at https://www.speakwithimpact.com/suspense-in-a-presentation/ )