Your Audience

When presenting new ideas and concepts, nothing else is as important is knowing who your audience is. The phrase “know your audience” is an obvious cliche yet people still don’t consider it when they put a presentation together.  Ask yourself this: what’s the reason people will want to sit in front of me for an hour and hear me speak? If you think it’s because you’re a great presenter or the topic is riveting, you’re wrong. People attend for two reasons:

  • Kill time until something more interesting comes along
  • Find something they can use to their advantage later on

That’s it. Every other explanation is crap. You can’t do anything about the people who just want to kill time but you can put a hook out there for the rest of the people watching and listening to you. From here, you just need to figure out how to put your thoughts and ideas out there in a way that people will relate to.

The next time you’re asked to give a presentation try this – ask a few of the attendees what they’re most interested in and what they want to get out of your topic. Summarize those responses and address them in the first ten seconds of your presentation. Give people a real reason to listen to you.