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About to Give a Presentation?

Find More Opportunities to Hone Your Presentation SkillsDo You Know What Your Audience Wants and Needs?

Before you give your next presentation, consider whether you truly understand what your audience wants and needs from that presentation. Often, we give a presentation with a focus on what we want and need from it, but forget about our audience’s wants and needs.

Let’s assume that you are looking to get funding and resources committed for a cross-functional change initiative that you want to launch in the organization. Your presentation will focus on this change and its benefit to the organization, and ask for funding and resources. This funding and resource commitment needs to come from each department head. You know this is a worthwhile initiative as it will enable for increased collaboration and more effective problem solving throughout the organization. But, to get department heads to contribute funds to launch the project, as well as provide resources to implement the change, you need to help them see the value to them. To do this, you need to understand what they would want and need from this presentation to commit both funding and resources.

In thinking about each of the department heads – you might consider the following to determine their needs and wants:

  • Why would this change benefit them? Will it help them to solve a problem they are having, address a challenge or meet a long-term goal?
  • What might you provide to them in exchange for their support? Do they need you to support one of their initiatives? Can you provide resources from your own group to help them solve a problem or address a challenge they are having?

The presentation you deliver should convey information that addresses the needs and wants of your audience. This way, when you ask for their support, you have addressed their needs and are more likely to get their commitment to help you with your endeavor.