Who Is Your Audience
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember during your presentation preparation and while you are presenting is that your presentation isn’t about you, it’s about your audience.
As you put together your presentation, analyze your audience and ask yourself: what do they need to know and how can I best deliver that information to them? The best way to analyze your audience is to ask yourself these questions:
- What does the audience desire?
- What makes them tick?
- What are their wants and how do they relate to your presentation?
It would be easy to get up in front of a room full of people and list the various strategies and plans that you used to complete your project. But, if your presentation was put together with the audience’s desires in mind, you are going to have much more success in delivering the message and information they are looking for, and ultimately, the audience will be able to glean far more from your presentation.
What Are Your Objectives?
In addition to keeping the audience in mind while crafting your presentation, it is important to lay out the objectives you hope to accomplish before you begin putting it together. Ask yourself: what am I trying to achieve with this presentation? In the example provided above, we mention that you had just finished a quarter-long project with your team. Some of the objectives you may be looking to achieve with your presentation to the CEO could include: showcasing the results of your project, or bring about a discussion with senior management about the need for new procedures or protocols, etc. If you’re in a position to make a case for yourself to be promoted, then it may be a good opportunity to exhibit your ability to successfully manage a team and complete projects on-time (and under-budget if applicable). To achieve these objectives successfully, design your presentation to reach the decision maker in the room (the CEO, the managing partner, the client, etc.).
What Is Your Content?
Outside of the audience, the content may be the most important part of the presentation, so do your best to make it interactive and engaging for your audience. Treat your content as royalty by providing informative and inspiring stories. To do this, draft an identity statement. This will provide the who, what, where, how, and why of your presentation to your audience. By going through each step, you will have a better idea of what content you should include in your presentation to effectively reach your audience, which ultimately will make your presentation more engaging and inspiring to your audience.
How Will You Deliver Your Presentation?
We’ve all sat through a presentation before where the presenter put together a PowerPoint deck with flashy transitions and effects, but delivers their content in a slow and monotonous voice. This style of delivery makes it difficult for your audience to discern where you are at in your presentation, and obviously you don’t want people wondering who you are and why you are a credible source while delivering the most important content and message.
In order to combat this, split your presentation up into a beginning, middle, and end section. Sounds easy enough, right? That’s because it is. The beginning section should focus on introducing who you are, providing a hook to engage the audience, and then context for why they should care about your topic. Some popular hooks are engaging stories that showcase why you are a trustworthy source, and help draw your audience into your topic.
The middle section is where you will discuss the key points and messages of your presentation. This is where you want to work to achieve the objectives that you outlined while preparing your presentation, whether that is relaying your findings to the CEO, or showcasing your stellar project management skills.
The end part of your presentation should be something memorable that really helps drive the point home about your presentation. This could be another engaging story, or reiterating why your key messages are important to the health of the company, etc. By breaking up your presentation into these sections, your audience will more clearly be able to delineate who you are, what you’re talking about, and why it matters for them, and that ultimately leads to a more successful presentation.
With the insight provided above, you are perfectly prepared to create a more targeted, meaningful, and effective presentation for your quarterly meeting with the CEO. Utilize these strategies to help improve your presentations and ultimately propel your career forward. For more information about how listening can help you in your professional career, check out our Storytelling Master Course on our website.