How to define the recipients of your presentation

How to define the recipients of your presentation

'Who is the recipient of my presentation?' is one of the crucial questions you need to ask yourself before starting creating any presentation.

Answer this question in order to decide how you are going to write the content for your presentation. It will be one thing when your presentation is intended for the CEO of your organization and different when it’s addressed to a potential customer. You will go to a different level of detail depending on whether you'll be talking to new employees or to long-term employees. And naturally, a different way of communication will be needed when the presentation is meant for children than when it’s intended for adults.

Defining the target audience clearly will also help you decide to what extent you can rely on professional jargon. If you are going to address people from your own industry, your superiors or work colleagues – you can use shortcuts, acronyms and vocabulary which they are all familiar with. On the other hand, if you are to address people from outside the industry, you must use professional jargon really cautiously.

The more you know about your target audience, the better your chances for a perfect fit and, consequently, for building a greater rapport with the audience and achieving your goal: making them see what you see or selling them a product. Taling of personalizing your presentation, I don’t mean just putting in the logo of the company the representatives of which you are about to encounter. It is more than that.

The best salespeople do meticulous research each time they are about to meet a potential customer. They ask themselves: who is the person I am going to talk to? Are they already interested in my product? Do they use the products of our competitors? What kind of person are they? What do they like? What are they passionate about? What subjects will I be able to discuss with them? How can I build a personal rapport with them?

Answering these questions will boost your chances for establishing a good working relationship, which may result in cooperation or closing a lucrative deal.

Peter Coughter in his book „The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business” relates an interesting case, where a detailed research about the recipients of a presentation brought spectacular results. The advertising agency he had only just established with his partners, was taking part in a tender for servicing a large and reputable company. Let's call it company X. Their agency was not yet known, it had an inexperienced team, no record of great successes and it was the only agency invited to take part in the tender which had its headquarters in another city than company X. The chances of winning the tender were therefore negligible. But Coughter and his colleagues decided to investigate each of the four members of the tender committee. Collecting detailed information about the recipients took quite a while but Coughter discovered and interesting regularity: each member of the committee was a former military officer or a military enthusiast. And this served as the basis of their presentation. The whole narrative was built around military themes and the presentation had the suggestive title of “The Art of War”. They talked about their portfolio as a collection of trophies won from their enemies and the culmination point was a series of quotes from "Conan the Barbarian" and delight in the feeling of victory over a hated enemy. The tender committee were amazed. They felt that they had finally found someone who thought in the same terms as they did. Although they were planning to meet the other agencies participating in the tender, at the very same meeting the committee members confirmed that they would choose Coughter’s agency for further cooperation.

A precise definition of the target audience and a detailed analysis of their expectations, preferences and likes proved critical in this case.

Do you want to gain the favor of your customers right from the start? Get to know them as well as you can. Find out who they are, what they like, what they want.

Piotr Garlej


PS. And if you want to master your presentation skills, go check out my Professional PowerPoint Presentations online course HERE>

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