Join Petrula Vrontikis for an in-depth discussion in this video Knowing your audience, part of Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills.
To understand your audience, you need to know what makes them tick, and what their stake is in the project. For example, are they fellow designers, are they the financial backing, or are they a committee with various backgrounds? Knowing what they value will help you choose the right language that will have meaning to them individually. And collectively. It's a mistake to assume that we all use the same language. For example, if you presenting to people funding your project, the most effective language will include something about return on investment, some statistics of facts that support your ideas or possibly ways to strategize or leverage costs.
If you're presenting to a committee of stakeholders with various roles, you may want to speak about your project's effectiveness to the organization overarching vision, and explain how it's aligned with the goals that this group may have agreed upon already. This takes a bit of preparation on your part. Ask ahead of time who will be at this meeting And what their roles are. Do some research online. Or through conversations with colleagues to get information about them. If you aren't able to find out about them ahead of time, create an opportunity for introductions right before you present your work.
This way you can orient yourself and anticipate your language choices. Listen carefully to key words that they use and keep referencing back to those words during your presentation. A little preparation ahead of time to know your audience can make all the difference. It helps you use the right language to make your presentation clear, credible and persuasive.
- Presenting one-on-one, to a team, or to a larger audience
- Choosing a presentation format
- Introducing your design and providing context
- Persuading your audience
- Developing visual aids
- Creating a great first impression
- Understanding verbal and nonverbal cues
- Getting approval
- Facilitating a Q&A session