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Tag Archives: who is your audience

3 Things You Can Do to Improve Any Presentation

You’ve got the perfect speech … on paper. You may have even presented it a few times with decent results. But you want more. What can you do to take this presentation to the next level?

I’ve been there before. When I was competing in high school with my earthquake speech it was good enough for me to get into the finals and place 5th most of the time. But I was never able to take it higher. I wish I had known these three things then!

1. Know your audience.
In order to connect with your audience, to get them to truly engage with your presentation, you need to know and understand them. If I’d had a better handle on what the judges where looking for, as well as who they were as people, I might have been able to tweak my earthquake speech to better meet their needs and earned more points in the process.

Before you give a presentation, do your homework on your audience. What makes them a group? What are they looking to gain from your presentation? What are their “hot topics” and “hot buttons”? Do they have inside jokes? What things do they have in common that you can pull from to create meaningful illustrative anecdotes?
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Don’t Underestimate Your Audience

audience clappingOn Thursday, I had the opportunity to see Dan Vega speak at a one-day business bootcamp. There were several things he said that really stood out to me, but today I’m going to talk about this one:

“So many speakers underestimate the audience.”

In the context of what he was saying, he was suggesting that audiences are often more intelligent or well educated than speakers give them credit for. But there are so many other ways that, I believe, speakers often underestimate their audience.

For one, many believe that the audience is there to find fault in your presentation and pick you apart. This leads many to suffer from a fear of speaking. Of course, hostile audiences do exist, but I think on average … and from the experiences shared by many of the featured speakers I’ve interviewed for this project … most audiences want you to succeed.
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Achieving Success in Professional Speaking

Achieving Success in Professional SpeakingThe real success of every presentation is leaving your audience with something of value. What do they get out of spending time listening to your presentation?

Many people believe that they need natural brilliance in speaking and presenting well. They believe that they need to be polished, smart, witty and charming all before they actually start to build a speech. Those attributes can come naturally, but most often, they come as a result of passion, knowledge and practice.

One of the most important factors in a successful presentation is serving the needs of your audience.

Going back to the idea that you need to leave your audience with something of value, caring for your audience’s needs doesn’t require perfection.

You can make mistakes during your speech and it’s going to be okay.

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