Know Your Target Audience When Presenting

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.

Know Your Target Audience...and your presentations will resonate with it.

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.

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7 Responses

    1. Indeed, Ship. One can be an polished presenter, armed with the most beautiful slides and delivery techniques…but if they don’t take the time to truly understand their audience, there is a high chance the presentation won’t be a successful as it could be.

  1. Hi Claudio,
    Great site! Reading this article got me focused again. In daily life I give presentations quite regularly, but I wouldn’t say I’m very confident while presenting. This article helps, thnx.
    Regards,
    Martine

    1. I’m glad to be of service, Martine. Confidence is a major issue for many presenters, even if they know their subject matter very well. Good planning…and lots of practice…will help you become more and more confident over time.

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