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 short cuts 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 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?
“Your Guide to Authentic Speaking and Presenting” is where you’ll find more tips and rich material about Your Hero. When you sign up for the free download, you will not only receive the 30-page Guide, which is packed with our best tips and examples. You’ll also receive a series of video emails, walking you through the Guide, and providing more resources from authors, experts and speakers with insights that put your greatness in reach.
If you want to be the communicator you were meant to be, start at the beginning. Download “Your Guide to Authentic Speaking and Presenting.”