What is an audience? …The assembled spectators or listeners at a public event such as a play, film, concert, or meeting. Our expectation of any audience is that they listen whilst we say or do something that they have come to see, right? Well actually that’s wrong, because unless you are someone VERY special like Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones or Madonna, then your audience aren’t there for you at all, they are there for themselves.
This means that the presentation you are giving needs to be totally focused upon your audience and how you can improve their situation and help them achieve their goals. To add to the pressure, you need to establish this early on so that they are engaged with you from the beginning.
So, how do establish that all important connection early on? The answer is simply to get on their level and explore their current situation, way of doing things, needs, goals as well as pain-points, challenges and fears. You need to show them you understand all of it and the obstacles they have to overcome in order to achieve their goals.
Only when you have covered these off will the audience give you their trust and be ready for you to show them the solution. At that point you can introduce your product, service, strategic plan or big idea that you are presenting about. But, whatever you reveal factually about your offering, ensure that it ties back to one of their goals or solves a challenge already identified earlier in your presentation.
This is a useful way of identifying the content you need to include in your presentation. Essentially if the slide doesn’t solve their problem, answer their need or prove that you are the right provider for them, then you should leave it out. So, all of those slides about how your company started, its structure, product ranges etc are really better placed in your brochure and left with the audience afterwards, as they do not help you win over your audience.