Podcast 19: Make Your Presentation Audience Focused

Face it, most people hate meetings. Most people don’t want to sit through boring presentations either. So, if you want to get your audience to want to listen to your presentation, you have to make it “Audience Focused”. Focus on what the audience wants to hear, not what you want to tell them.

Make Your Presentation Audience Focused

On this episode of the Fearless Presentations ® Podcast, Doug covers how to make your presentations more “Audience Focused” so that people actually want to listen to what you have to say. Most people who design their own presentations start with a similar thought… “Hmmm… What do I know about this topic?” Then they make a list of content for their speech. After a short while, though, they realize that they don’t have enough time to cover everything that they know about the topic, so the start cutting content. They usually end up with a Swiss-Cheese presentation that is difficult to follow. However, if you start with a different though… “What is it that my audience really wants to know about this topic?” You will design a much better presentation. Below are a list of the tips from the podcast.

  • The “Do I Give a Flip Test”: Okay, yes it is a crude statement, but it will help you eliminate boring and uninteresting distractions from the presentation. Look just at your first slide. If all the audience saw when they walked into the room was this slide, would they say, “I can’t wait to hear this speech,” or would they say, “Uuughh, not again”. If it is the latter, your presentation doesn’t pass the test.
  • Focus on What They Want, Not What You Want: Make sure that when you are deciding on your bullet points and your evidence that you focus on what the audience wants to know about the topic. A lot of times, we focus on ourselves. Instead, pretend that you are an audience member. Get into that person’s head. Determine what he/she wants from the speech.
  • Make Your Title and Bullet Points “Result Oriented”: Instead of making the bullet be a piece of data or idea that you want the person to understand, focus on the benefit that the person will receive if he/she understands the data or the idea. For instance, in the 2-day Fearless Presentations ® class, we give an example of a presentation on how to design a three point talk. Most people would title the presentation, “Three Point Talk,” but that doesn’t pass the Do I Give a Flip? test. So, instead, we had to ask, “What is the main benefit that people receive from understanding the Three Point Talk?” Well, when people get really good at this process, they can design entire presentations very quickly — in minutes versus hours or days. So, we re-titled the speech, “A Simple Way to Design Presentations in 15 Minutes or Less”. Focus on the result, and your audience will focus on your presentation.

We cover these and dozens of additional public speaking tips in the 2-day Fearless Presentations &reg: class held in dozens of cities around the world every couple of months.

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Author: Doug Staneart, Date Published: 10/30/17

Doug Staneart is the CEO of The Leader's Institute. LLC and founder of the Fearless Presentations class. He is author of Fearless Presentations, Mastering Presentations, and 28 Ways to Influence People.

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