In the last blog I asked you to start noticing your words and how often you were including “um, uh, like, okay”, etc. in your conversations. So how has it been going? How many times a day do you add these filler words into your everyday interactions? Now that you are aware of these start inserting a pause instead of saying the alternative. Try it and see if you can stop before you say the words that you use while you are thinking. It takes practice but it can pay off in huge dividends for your professional interactions with others and how they percieve you.
Guideline #2 is to know the objective of the presentation. Every good trainer writes an objective for every module or class they create and facilitate. Are you giving a status update; presenting revenue or sales numbers; pitching your project; asking for approval, resources or funding; informing or selling a new product, service, candidate or technology? Whatever the occassion it is always best if you know what your objective is, what you are working to achieve by giving the presentation. Write it down as it will act as your compass, guiding you like the North star for the entire process.
Guideline #3 is audience analysis. Once the objective is written down start inquiring about who your audience is. Work to find out as much information as you can about them, even if you think you already know them. Think about these questions and work to answer them before you even begin to write.
- What is the audience demographics?
- Experience and knowledge of the content you will be presenting?
- Do they know the jargon, acronyms and vernacular you will be using?
- If you are requiring a decision do you have the right people in the room to accomplish that?
- Has the audience already been pitched to before? If so what was their reaction and decision?
- How can you present the information in a new and creative way to get a different decision?
Find out as much info as you can as you want to custom tailor your content to the audience you will be addressing. The examples, stories, metaphors, analogies and facts need to be appropriate for the age, gender, education level, and experience of your audience. This is especially true if your presentation is persuasive in nature and they have heard it all before. How can your approach show audience members how you can benefit them, give them the answer they have been looking for and fulfill their needs?
Do your homework and find out as much information as you can on who you will be speaking to, it will not be time wasted.
Next week we will discuss pulling together the content and getting your ideas out.
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