Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

Wow! I Didn’t Know That! — Presentations that Promote Your Business without Turning People Off – Part 2 – Know Your Audience & Speak to Something They Care About

In Presentation Tips on February 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm

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Don't Waste Your Audience's Time - Provide Value!

So far, it had been a great conference.  The opening keynote was fascinating.  We had a great lunch.  And I was really looking forward to attending the first afternoon breakout session.  There were so many great options.  Based on the program descriptions, I narrowed my selection down to two.  I finally made my pick and headed to the room.

 

Because I’m so short, 5’3”, I sat in the front of the room so I could see better.  The session started and it became clear fairly quickly that what the presenter would be talking about wasn’t what was on the program guide.  I felt stuck since I was in the front row.  I felt frustrated because there were other choices I could have made.  And I felt gypped.  That was an hour of my life I would never get back.

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever felt like your time was robbed by a lousy movie or an event that wasn’t what it claimed to be?  Well make sure that you don’t do the same thing to other people.  Keep these points in mind when you’re preparing your business presentation.

People Are Selfish

Maybe it sounds a little harsh to say that people are selfish but it’s true.  Without getting into a deep theological question, when you present, the thing you need to remember is that the thing people care most about is themselves.

Oh sure.  The audience may politely sit and listen.  But the question on every audience member’s mind at some level is, “So what…what’s in it for me?

So the first questions you need to answer for yourself in your business presentation is “Why should this audience care?  What’s in it for them?”

Here’s a hint.  The answer to those questions has nothing at all to do with you or your business.

Provide Value

If people are investing their time into hearing what you have to say, they want to get some value out of your presentation.  Whether that value be something that makes them money, saves them money, helps them make an important decision, makes their life better, entertains them, teaches them a new skill, whatever  — it needs to be about something they care about.

As you prepare your business presentation, ask yourself what information of value could you provide your audience.  And here’s the thing.   If you give them something of value for free say at a chamber event, then the natural inclination will be to think, “Wow, if I get something so valuable now, imagine what I’ll get from them if I’m a client!”  Tell them information that is of value and you are building trust.

Credibility

“But Kelly,” you may be thinking.  “Don’t I need to tell them all about my credentials so they know they can trust me?”

My answer is “no.”  If you are providing them information of value, that IS your credibility.  If what you’re saying makes sense, if what you’re saying helps them, then they don’t need to hear about all your credentials.  They will begin trusting you based on the value that you bring.

Do they perhaps need to hear more about you and the work you do?  Yes.  And we’ll talk about that in the next post.  But to get started, know that what they want most to begin with is the value you bring to them personally and selfishly.

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