Guess who’s coming to dinner?!? Why great presenters should put ketchup on the table, even at the swankiest events…
When President Trump went for a meal with the Japanese prime minister, he rejected the finest sushi made by top chefs in favour of a juicy hamburger. Fortunately, his guests had researched what he likes to eat, so they’d already put mustard and ketchup on the table.
In this guest blog Deliver Your Message founder Duncan Bartlett explains why presenters need to carefully research the tastes of their guests, so that they can deliver a message which is just right for them.
Imagine you’ve been asked by your boss to cook a meal for VIP guests.
Your company’s reputation depends on the food being delicious but that’s tough because you’re not a professional chef and this is not your day job. The boss has jotted down a few ingredients he wants you to use but it’s now down to you to decide what to make and how to serve the dish.
It’s a high pressure situation, just like giving a presentation. Before you chop the onions and put the oven on, wouldn’t you think it’s a good idea to ask your boss who’s coming to dinner?
How many people?
Do they have any special dietary requirements?
What do they actually like to eat?
It’s the same with preparing for a speech or a presentation. Before you write a word, you’ll need to find out who’s coming to hear you and you’ll want to know as much as about their expectations as you can. So ask your boss who the audience is.
With a resource like LinkedIn, you can profile your audience in considerable detail and deliver content which is completely relevant to them.
Get more information from the conference chairman, the content manager or the event organiser.
When I’m working with my clients, I often say this:
“If you have eight hours to prepare a presentation, spend two hours researching the audience.”
The audience will be happy that you’ve got something they want to hear instead of just telling them how wonderful your organisation is. That’s the mark of a great presenter.
To return to the cooking analogy, if your VIP guest for dinner is the President of the United States, just make sure you have mustard and ketchup on the table and don’t worry too much about the delicate sushi!