Quick Presentation Fix: Make Your Audience the Hero

 In Presentation Skills

Looking for a quick fix for Presentation Hell, or worse, a remedy for Death by PowerPoint?  It’s common at all levels of a company, among novice and experienced presenters alike.  But before starting any great presentation, consider these three quick fix steps :

1. Put your audience first.  Abraham Lincoln said that when he prepared a speech, he spent 2/3 of the time thinking about what they want to hear and 1/3 thinking about what he wanted to say.  Hence the Gettysburg Address. So, think of your audience as individuals waiting to have a conversation with you.  They want to be informed, motivated, inspired, transformed, comforted or just have their own ideas confirmed. 

2. Remember that your audience is the hero of your presentation. Your audience determines whether your ideas spread or die. They can be suppliers of resources to make your ideas happen and persuade others to your way of thinking.  They can also generate ideas that make your idea all the better.

3.  Understand your audience’s pain points.  What motivates them?  What will move them to success?  Take time to get to know them as people. What resonates with them? Why are they here? Do they want to be here or are they obligated to attend? What keeps them up at night?  How can you solve their problems?

Give them what they asked for, stay on topic and be concise when you create your presentation.  Then you will have mastered the quick fix for presentation hell and be on your way to Presentation Bliss.

Think about it this way:  Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter addressed “to whom it may concern.”

Watch the companion video to this column.

Read more presentation tips on my website rosemaryravinal.com

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