Some people like surprises… Some people enjoy going for a Sunday drive. My wife is one of those people. She enjoys the thought of jumping in the car and seeing where we end up. Me? I’m the opposite – I prefer to know whats happening and where we’re going. It makes for an interesting family life at times, but thats a whole separate blog topic that I’m not going to discuss here!
What does the concept of the Sunday drive have to do with presentation skills? A lot, if your presentations lack direction and focus. When you sat down and prepared your last speech or presentation did you take the time to think about the viewpoint or understanding your audience had on the subject you were speaking about? What did you want to have achieved by the end of your presentation? Did you?
Often, we get caught in the trap of thinking that everyone knows what we know, believes what we believe, thinks like we think… You get the idea. As you sit down to write your speech or presentation you need to think about where an audience is on the the subject you’ll be talking about and decide where you want to take them with your presentation.
Unfortunately there are very few audiences who like suprises. They want to know that you know where you are taking them with your speech. And, the more senior your audience the less they like suprises. Take the time to understand where your audience “is”and where you want them to “be” when you finish your presentation and you’ll get a much better reception. You’ll be suprisd at the difference it will make.