Well, that went badly.
Hands full, Scott kicked the office door closed with his foot.
The mouse clattered to the ground, followed by the coffee cup that had been balancing atop his laptop.
Scott’s day was going from bad to worse.
He put the laptop on the desk and bent to clean up the mess.
As he mopped cold coffee from the side of the mouse he thought back to his “performance.”
What had gone wrong?
He had simple message to get across, he’d created some cool slides, and he practiced hard.
He was confident. He was presenting to people from a department he didn’t know, so he had nothing to lose… Confidence came much easier like this!
But the audience just hadn’t been in to it. They’d spent the time chatting among themselves, checking their smartphones, and looking at the floor.
When it came time for questions no one had any. Some people started to leave before Scott had a chance to say his final words.
What a nightmare! What rude people… Scott felt lucky he didn’t work with these heathens.
Despite his confidence, knowledge, and preparation he just couldn’t connect with his audience. His presentation was an out and out failure.
Scott finished removing coffee from the mouse and turned to the rug.
Ever had an experience like Scott?
If you can’t connect with your audience it doesn’t matter how cool your slides are or what you say.
Here are 3 things successful presenters do before every delivery:
1. Successful presenters understand their audience
Successful presenters know what motivates their audience. They know what their audience likes and dislikes. They know what frustrates their audience, and they know what challenges they face.
By knowing these things about their audience, successful presenters are able to frame their presentations in such a way that their listeners can instantly attune to why they should pay attention. The presenter shows the audience “what’s in it for them” and holds their attention.
2. Successful presenters understand their desired outcome
Successful presenters know what the goal of the presentation is. They know where they want to take the audience.
By knowing where they want to take the audience, the presenter is able to design a succinct presentation which doesn’t waste their listener’s time.
3. Successful presenters know their topic well
Successful presenters are ones who deliver a conversational presentation. A presentation that seems as natural as someone having a conversation or discussion.
Knowing their topic well allows successful presenters to speak from memory which increases the audience’s confidence in the speaker. Additionally, knowledge of the topic and the ability to speak from memory increases the likelihood of an engaging talk.
What do you think? Let’s chat in the comments below.