The most important question to ask when you prepare your presentation is Who is my audience? If you don’t clearly understand what is important to your audience and why it is important to them, chances are that you will not get through to them.
When you really know your target audience when presenting, you will demonstrate that you respect them. Your audience will feel that you care. As a result it will be much easier to deliver your presentation successfully.
The 4 Most Important Questions to Know Your Target Audience
After you accept to give a presentation, speak to the organizer of the meeting or event. Find out as much as you can about your audience:
1. What size is your audience?
The size of your audience influences your presentation style. Speaking to a small group allows for more participation and interaction. Speaking to larger groups means less interaction during and a Q&A session typically at the end of your presentation.
2. Who is in the audience?
Find out the age and gender, as well as the cultural, educational, and professional background of your audience and tailor your message accordingly. Be aware of political sentiments, as well as general beliefs and convictions, to know what to stress and what to avoid in your delivery.
3. How much knowledge do they have about your topic?
Your audience’s prior knowledge about your topic is important. To provide the most value to your audience, you want to provide information that they do not have yet. You want to add to their existing knowledge, thus confirming your position as trustworthy expert.
4. Why are they attending your presentation?
What does your audience expect to take away from your presentation? Are they attending because they want to or are they being sent by their boss? Understanding your audience’s motivation and goal of attending will help you get your listener’s attention and present your information in a way that is compelling and memorable.
The most important foundation for a successful presentation is for you to know your target audience. Ask the above four questions every time you are invited to speak and your planning, preparation, and delivery will flow effortlessly.