The only barrier between your message and its impact is your audience. To help it through, here are a four things to remember about your audience.
They’ll mimic you
People are weird. We try to be individual, but we can’t help copy others. Without realising it, we tend to adopt the attitudes of those we see.
So what does that mean for presenters? Well, it means you can win your audience with nothing more than a smile. If your topic seems to make you happy, your audience will be happy about it too. Ditto for dramatic topics: a few tears could take your charity to the next level.
They’ll get bored after twenty minutes
Unless you’re presenting to practising monks, your audience won’t have the patience to sit through long stretches of content. Studies show that twenty minutes is the average limit for attention. Take advantage of that by chopping your talk into twenty minute chunks.
So what do we mean by that? Well, it could be as simple as asking your audience to stretch every twenty minutes. Even simpler, just switch your topic up every twenty minutes.
They’ll prefer reading to listening
As a species, we absolutely love looking at things. Because your audience can’t help but stare, it could be easy to lose them to your slides. If they look at your slides more than you, they’ll lose your message. There are two ways to avoid this:
Express yourself physically
Don’t be stiff! Stiff is dull, and nobody wants to look at a dull presenter. Instead, take advantage of your body. Gesture on important points, and step forward to address your audience directly. That alone will keep every pair of eyes on you.
Keep your slides simple
Your slides should be a simple supplement to what you’re saying. This should be common knowledge, but you’d be surprised. To make your slides more minimalist, check out our article on clearing clutter in your presentations.
They want to know what’s in it for them
Think of the last time someone sold you something. How’d they pitch it? Did they say “Mate, if you buy this, I’m gonna make a fat commission”? No?
Of course they didn’t. That’s because you didn’t care about what buying that thing would do for them. You only cared about what it could do for you.
The same principle applies to your audience. They don’t care about your life story. They especially don’t care about how great you are. All they want to hear about is the benefit they’ll get from buying into your message.
They won’t act unless you end with a call to action
Remember what I said about how people are weird? This is another example of that. The fact is, unless you give your audience explicit instructions, they won’t know what to do.
Because of that, make sure you finish off with one clear call to action. Make it simple but explicit, and stress what they’ll get out of it.
We hope this helps you understand your audience a bit better. To really wow them, reach out to our team of professional presentation designers.