If you are planning to give a high-stakes presentation, it should come as a relief that you are not the man or woman of the hour. If you want to make a meaningful and memorable connection, think of your audience as the hero—the lionheart whom you admire.
Of course, you cannot fake your admiration. We’ll know it as soon as you say, “I’m so excited to be with you today!” But we also know when you’re the real deal and have shown up with a sincere desire to offer value.
It’s not enough to be a polished presenter with the same cool slides you used with the last group. If you take shortcuts and make assumptions, you may find yourself in a bad place, presenting basic information to an advanced audience or advanced information to a less experienced audience.
At Interact Studio, we call that place “the valley of irrelevance,” where listeners decide you don’t have anything of interest to them. They disengage and pull out their devices. Once in the valley, it’s very hard for a speaker to dig out.
Questions to Ask About Your Hero (Audience)
What do you know about your hero?
- Don’t guess. Find out. Are you talking to a technical, front-line, advanced, or general audience?
What has your hero been told about you?
- If you’re making a presentation outside the organization, ask your contact to copy you on flyers or web pages promoting your talk.
What are the hot buttons?
- Hot buttons such as saving time, keeping expenses in line, or finding a new tool to increase productivity can help you bring value to your hero.
What’s the buzz?
- Are you current with the conversation? Look at the tweets, articles, and newsletters that will help you become current. What are people saying?
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