Have you ever been to a presentation where the presenter wasn't 100% clear about his or her key messages? Did it also seem that there was no clarity on who the presentation was aimed at? This has happened to me and it left me asking: 'why am I here?' and 'how is this of value to me?'
Don’t let these pitfalls affect you. It is essential that your presentation is really focused and meets the needs of your audience in order for it to be memorable and of genuine value. These two factors are the foundation for every good presentation. And the good news is that it is well within your ability to deliver a high-impact presentation that is relevant and valuable to your audience. Getting your goals 100% clear Lets' start with the first point - the key messages you need your audience to leave with at the end of your presentation. Think of this scenario: you need to give a talk about a new product. Do you want your audience to know how it works, why it works or how much it costs? Or do they need to know some other things? Only once you have your overall goals in place you can then think about how you deliver this information to them in an interesting and engaging way.
Here are some useful questions to get these overall goals clear in your head
What is the purpose of my presentation?
What am I trying to achieve?
What do I want audience to leave with?
What do I need the audience to know as a result of my presentation?
What do they need to be able to do?
What needs do the audience have that my presentation will satisfy?
How will I know that I've met these needs?
Who is your audience? I've mentioned the word 'audience' a few times so far. It's now time to take our clear goals for the presentation and link these to the intended recipients. So, who are your intended recipients? Who is your audience? Are they all managers? Sales people? Clients? Prospective clients? Networking contacts? Something else?
If you don't know who they are , what can you do to find out as much as possible about them?
Consider the following questions to help define your audience's needs
Who is my audience?
What do I know about them?
Do they want detail or the bigger picture?
Are there different types of people in my audience e.g. managers, salespeople etc.?
If so, how will I focus my presentation to the different needs?
Summing-up So, when structuring your presentation, first you need to know the purpose and key messages that you want your presentation to deliver. Secondly you need to think about who you will be presenting to, paying particular attention to who they are and finding out something about them.