Everyone personalizes everything. So spoke my new friend and founder of FuturesThrive, Wendy Ward. How right she is. We filter everything we see and hear through the lens of our personal experience.
So, what does this mean for you and your presentations? For starters, it means you must be building your presentations with your audience at the forefront of your mind. As I like to say (again and again and again) you must turn your focus 180 degrees. You must sit yourself in your audience’s seat and examine everything you’re thinking about saying through the eyes and ears of your audience.
For example, you’ll be careful not to tell a story that could take them down a rabbit hole of their own emotions – taking their attention away from you and your message.
You won’t throw out a factoid or statistic that’s questionable or controversial without clearly explaining and or authenticating it. Why? You’re smart; you don’t want gigantic question marks in their minds, causing doubt and uncertainty not just about that stat, but about everything you say after it.
You’ll make sure you’re not using jargon words or acronyms they may not understand. That will only piss them off; who wants to do that? (ahem, not you.)
If you’re giving a persuasive presentation, you’ll make sure the benefits to them are truly benefits they want and care about. And if you know it’s a big benefit to them, but it’s one they’re as yet unaware of, you’ll draw a clear compelling picture of why it matters to them so they can see the benefit as clearly as you do.
In short, every single part of your presentation is going to relate directly to them. Now they’re paying attention. Who wouldn’t?
Take a good look at your upcoming presentation through your audience’s eyes. How does it look? Is it connecting? Compelling? Convincing? To them? If not, tear it down to the studs if you have to. If it doesn’t speak to them, it’s not worth delivering.
Rebuild it with them in mind every step of the way (see above) and you’ll NAIL it.