So whether you’re presenting to a group of coworkers around a conference room table or to a thousand strangers in a ballroom, there are at least six questions you must ask in order to understand your audience and their needs.
1. Who Are They?
If you’re speaking at a conference, review the attendees list, talk to the organizers — maybe even interview a few audience members.
And even if it’s an audience you already feel familiar with — coworkers, for instance — you
need to get a deeper understanding of them beyond their names and job titles:
- How do they like to receive information?
- Are they big picture people or detail-oriented?
- Are they impatient or relaxed?
- What are their hot buttons?
A client of mine said that whenever he meets with a certain colleague he knows the first question will always be about budget. That’s the hot-button issue. So he starts every presentation with an assurance that his idea has been cleared with the financial people.
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