It is only right and fitting to start at the beginning, so the first in this new series of the A to Z of Effective Presentations starts with the letter "A" for Audience. The Audience is the most important part of any presentation, without them there would be no presentation.
When faced with the prospect of having to give a presentation, many people start by asking themselves, "What am I going to say?", "What do I know about the topic?" Such questions put the focus on you the speaker.
Invariably, you will be more successful by placing the focus on your audience. Ask yourself " What does this audience want to know?", "What would I like the audience to do after the presentation?", "What do I need to say to encourage them to do that?"
To answer these questions you need to know something about your audience. You need to know what they already know, what preconceptions they may hold and why they are coming to listen to you.
While you are speaking your audience are likely to be sitting there thinking "Is this relevant to me?", "What is in this for me?", "Why should I be listening?" It is important that you bear this in mind while you are creating and delivering your presentation.
Many business presentations are boring because the speaker focuses on themselves, their company and their products and services. This is not surprising because this is what the speaker knows most about. However with a little bit of effort, forethought and research you can turn it around and give a presentation which is all about your audience and how your solutions can help them, to make their lives easier and realise their goals.
There are two main aspects to a presentation, "saying the right thing" and "saying the thing right". This tip is all about "saying the right thing". In other articles in this series I will look at "saying the thing right".