How to Prepare a Presentation — Focus on the Audience

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I’m excited to share my thoughts with the Puffingston Prezi Presentation Design & Training team. I recently wrote a guest blog for them entitled How to Prepare a Presentation — Focus on the Audience. Here is a snippet from it:

Imagine you’re chatting with your grandfather
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about public speaking didn’t originate from a presentation book or presentation coach but from a librarian. Following one of my presentations years ago, I was told, “If you have any hope of improving your presentations, you must talk to the old people.”

It took me a bit to comprehend what she meant and quite a while to fully understand the meaning of her unique advice. It hit me one day when talking to my grandfather — the elderly require a specific amount of simplification in order to ensure their understanding. Even when imagining an elderly crowd, you will naturally speak louder, slower and enunciate more, much like I do when speaking to my grandfather. Keep this in mind when presenting to the general public and when speaking to your peers. Even when speaking at a conference in front of your peers, they are not all in the same field of work or at your level, so it is crucial that you simplify your information. You should not present the same way you speak to your colleagues at the office, even if you are a doctor talking to other doctors.

When you speak to prospective clients, whether for a bid presentation or an educational thought leadership presentation, you need to talk at your audience’s level. Create a foundation of knowledge and build up from there. Otherwise, you will lose your audience and have no chance of earning their business. Utilizing high-level vocabulary, acronyms, and complex concepts does not make you an expert – sharing your knowledge so your prospects can understand you makes you an expert. Creating this bridge of understanding makes them want to work with you because people hire whom they like. No one likes to be talked down to or feel like he or she do not know what is going on.

Read the entire post How to Prepare a Presentation — Focus on the Audience.

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