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So, what's in it for the audience? Why should they care about you and your product or your promise or the training that they're about to receive? After all, you're using their time. And even if they are watching a mandatory presentation, you need to consider why they should pay attention. In many presentations, you're asking your audience to make a decision in your favor. You want them to approve your budget or purchase your service or follow a new procedure. We need to ask ourselves, and later convey, what the benefit is to the audience for doing what we're asking them to do.
As any advertising person will tell you, benefits should never be confused with features. If you're selling a clock, the feature is that it has an alarm which can be set to any radio station, but the benefit is that the owner can wake up to their favorite music or news, feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to make it to work with plenty of time to stop for coffee. Our Human Resources Department is ready to announce their new software training initiative. Let's help the audience understand what's in it for them.
Remember, we want our audience to hear the benefits, not just the features to our proposal. We often think that the benefit is obvious and we leave it out, like in training, if employees don't follow the safety procedure they will be hurt or fired. But that doesn't mean we should omit it from our presentation. Let's add a quick slide to make sure our employees understand the benefits to the new software training program. We'll remind them how important this kind of training is. We will explain that the company can't justify bonuses if employees are constantly calling for support, for help with Microsoft Excel, and that the bonus could be their next vacation.
Do you see the Benefit there? Every slideshow needs to have a Benefit that your audience can get behind. Identify it early and work it into the presentation often.
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