Employ this essential practice at every presentation. Mentally put yourself in the audience. Imagine their attitude. Are you glad to be there? Are you comfortable? Understanding how your audience feels gives you the information you need to make an essential connection with them.
Is your audience happy to be there, or did you have to convince them to come? As you prepare and present, include a statement showing you understand and share their enthusiasm, or that you’re confident you can make them glad they attended — then do so.
Is your audience taking a break from work to be with you? Once they start looking at their watches you’ve lost them. Start and end at a pre-established time. If circumstances cause you to start late, assure your audience you understand the value of their time and that the presentation will end on time. Then speed up, or edit your talk accordingly.
Is the room cool, hot, noisy, crowded or uncomfortable in any way? If you have control over making it better, do it. If not, mention the mutual discomfort early in the presentation. It will help your audience relax and you’ll create a personal connection with them.
Younger audiences require more visual stimulation. Older audiences may have difficulty hearing or seeing small images. Remember who your audience is, and adjust the presentation accordingly.
The Wall Street Journal is written to a tenth-grade education level. When preparing, choose language easily understood by the person in the room with the least education and knowledge.
This article is written by © Keld Jensen 2011 – www.keldjensen.com