How do I find out about my audience?

If you have been asked to make a presentation, you may be asking yourself: “How do I find out about my audience?” Your audience is key. If you want to be successful in your presentation, you must consider what the audience wants from your talk. You must make it relevant for them. Otherwise they will ask “so what?”

You may know them or you may not. For example, they may be a group of colleagues or your Board of Directors. Or you may be speaking to a group of people whom you don’t know, such as an interview panel or a local Round Table group.

If it’s a group that’s known to you you will probably know what they want from your talk. If you’re unsure what the group expects, then ask one of them or someone who’s close to that group.

If it’s a group that’s not known to you, then you must put yourself in their shoes as you think about the subject of your presentation. If you don’t know who’ll be in the group, ask the organiser. Also ask the organiser what they will be expecting from your presentation.

Is the group very different from yourself? For example in age, circumstance, belief, or experience? If this is the case, then seek out someone from the group, or someone who would be closer to that group than you and ask their opinion.

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