Why Audience Matters When Giving a Presentation and How to Tailor Your Approach

The audience is one of the most important parts of any presentation. Without it, you are talking to yourself. Leaders want to make sure that they are attuned to the audience’s needs in order to provide an engaging and memorable presentation. If the audience appears bored or disinterested, you may need to adjust your content or approach in order to get things back on track.

Before you can begin preparing your speech or presentation, you need to know your audience. The same information can be presented in multiple ways depending on who you are speaking to and what the purpose is.

What are their needs? It is important to know what the purpose of your presentation is. What information does the client want presented, and what is the audience coming to find out? Do your research so that you are well-versed on the content as well as the company, organization, or profession. You want to make sure that the information you are presenting is relevant and will carry meaning for them.

What is their level of knowledge? How familiar are they with the content that you are providing? Is it a new topic or a different approach to something that is familiar? The audience’s level of understanding will also influence the terminology you choose to use. You may have to offer more explanation if the concept is newer or they are unfamiliar with it. In other cases you can use commonly accepted language and keep explanations more brief when referring to subjects they already know about.

A presentation that is too introductory or too complex can turn your audience off. You want to find a balancing point that builds on what they already know while elevating it to the next level. This can help to maintain more engagement because they want to know more.

What is the expected outcome? What do you (or your client) want the audience to take away from the presentation? You want to drive home key facts and make sure that your presentation is tailored to meet these goals and objectives. Whether you are speaking with a small group of employees or at a large conference, know your purpose.

Preparing Content

All of these factors will impact how you prepare your content and approach. You want to keep your audience in mind and make sure that every slide, key point, and question is directed toward your ultimate goal. You may have to look at things from a different perspective in order to find the best way to present it. If you notice that your audience’s attention is slipping away from you, you may need to tweak things on the spot. The more familiar you are with your content and your audience, the easier this will be.

Leave time for questions or comments. This can allow you to gain feedback and find out what the audience got from your presentation, what may have been unclear, and what they still want to know. If you give a similar presentation in the future, this can give you direction on making revisions to make it even more impactful.

Having strong speaking and presentation skills are essential for leaders and executives. The professionals at JP Kantor Consulting can help you to re-evaluate your approach and equip yourself with more effective strategies. Make sure that the impression you are leaving is the right one and that your information is coming across in a clear yet engaging way. Contact us today to find out more about how you could benefit from our executive coaching, management training, and consulting services.