Hello, my name is Damon. I am here today to give a presentation on how to communicate more effectively with your audience. My research shows that…
This is not how you connect with your audience. You have to grab your audience's attention in order to get your ideas across. And here is how you do it.
3 questions you need to ask yourself
Who is my audience?
Probably the most important question to answer before a presentation. By knowing your audience you can establish a common ground and take full advantage of the purpose of your presentation – whether it is solely informative or of a persuasive character.
Age, culture, and knowledge are all factors you need to consider when analyzing your audience. Another important factor is the formality of the presentation. A formal presentation to an informal public is probably as boring as it gets. Always meet the needs of your actual audience.
What do they already know?
To connect with your audience, you need to know the level of knowledge they have about your specific topic. Many people simply stop listening when the presenter talks about something that they already know, or even worse, something that they do not understand at all.
The more you know about your audience, the better you can plan your presentation and keep it engaging for that particular group.
What are their expectations?
If you want to satisfy your audience, you need to know their expectations. Are they there to learn something from you? Inspiration? Or, maybe you are doing a sales pitch? Whatever the purpose, if you have an idea of what they expect from you, you'll be able to tailor your speech and make it more exciting.
For example, a professor who is doing a presentation on creativity and innovation should assume that his students are expecting an amazingly engaging and creative presentation. Anything less than that, and the presentation will fail.
Once you know your audience, you can use these simple advice to connect with them
Don't present, converse! Have you ever been to a presentation where you suddenly notice that you are looking at the presenter without hearing anything? This happens when the presenter is not engaging enough. A presentation needs to be a two-way communication in order to be effective.
Involve the audience, ask questions, talk about things they can relate to. This two-way strategy allows the audience to actually process what you are saying instead of passively listening. Try this principle and your chances of influencing and persuading others will significantly increase.
Don't get them bored Good slides will help you a long way here but you need much more to keep the audience from yawning. One essential point that goes hand in hand with 'knowing your audience'; you must adapt your presentation to the environment. How formal do you have to be? What words can you use? Use humor or not? All this is crucial to keep the audience engaged and attentive.
Another simple, yet important, aspect has to do with enthusiasm. If you don't show passion and energy in your presentation, don't expect others to care either. You need to sell your presentation with your combination of body language, eye contact and energy. If you fail on this, don't expect your beautiful slides to help you.
It's not about you, it's about them Nothing is worse than going to a speech and listening to the presenter whine on and on about themself. The speaker must have a sense of what the audience want to hear and adapt to that. People want to know what they can gain from your presentation, thus you have to put them in the spotlight.
No matter your accomplishments, stay humble and give the audience inspiration to take with them. Give practical advice and tools they can use and your audience will remember you.
The best advice is to remember a great presentation you have seen, and figure out why you liked it so much.