To create an immersive and informative presentation, we must first reach our audience. Engaging our audience may be the most critical part of our work as each individual has their own background, interest level, and motivation to learn from our presentation. However, there is a simple guide to establishing a unique, entertaining, and informational speech by catering to four distinct groups of people.
- The first group are individuals who focus on the big picture. Think of a busy CEO who is interested in getting the most out of your presentation with the least amount of time commitment. These people search for key statements supported by bottom-line results. By including a mission statement or central theory at the start of our presentation, we can reel these big picture audience members in, enticing them with the important facts and then delivering relevant details.
- Next are individuals who are exactly the opposite! These audience members are process oriented, searching for data, statistics, and spreadsheets that backup our claims. These are the analysts who love to get into the nitty gritty and pick apart the problem themselves. In order to reach these audience members, I would recommend including a few impactful pieces of research throughout your presentation. By calling attention to reputable sources and intriguing results, we catch the attention of these detail-driven groups. Finally, include links to data or provide a handout to share the complexities of the presentation. Through this process, we can capture the attention of both the big-picture and the little-details audience members.
- Following these two groups are the collaborative thinkers. Similar to those obsessed with details, these individuals care about the step by step process of our presentations, emphasizing the usage of communication and teamwork to achieve the ultimate solution. This group may be filled with team leaders or conflict mediators interested in working with their group to implement the strategies we share. To attain their attention, discuss small but actionable changes that can be made to reach an eventual goal. These individuals will take your tips to heart and share them with members of their organization, spreading knowledge and inciting change!
- Finally, we have our audience members interested in the overall impact of the presentation. These are individuals focused on innovating their office culture. To reach this group, we can close our presentation with insights into how our presentation can change the team, organizational, or even global environment. Highlight how the central themes of our presentation can be used to solve problems in the workplace and surrounding community. Through this process, we illustrate the ripple effect our speech can have on their lives.
To summarize these tips, here are four main ways to reach these distinct groups in your presentations:
1. Start with a bang!
A high-level main message will call your big thinkers to attention, ensuring that they are captivated immediately.
2. Showcase our knowledge
Throughout our presentation, we can expand our viewer’s knowledge and explain important facts and figures. These bits of information will grasp detail-driven audience members and increase our credibility.
3. Share the process
To create a relatable and influential presentation, we must share actionable tips which can be used to create an impactful change. Process-oriented individuals will latch onto these descriptions and implement our advice in the future!
4. Create an Impactful Closing
By tying our presentations to their personal, professional, and cultural effects, we highlight the advantages of actively employing our techniques in the workplace. While this ending will enrapture all audience members, it specifically fuels the impact focused individuals by showing their potential for change.
Each time I give a presentation, I keep these four groups in mind, working through my four steps to ensure that I meet the needs of each and every audience member. This advice helps to create more engaging and interesting presentations that accomplish the ultimate goal of informing and inspiring our viewers to make a change.
Dima Ghawi is the founder of a global talent development company. Her mission is providing guidance to business executives to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and to implement a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within their organization.