When Presenting, Know the Audience

In order to give an effective presentation, you need to know your audience.  What does that mean?
Who is the audience?
The first step is to analyze the audience by asking yourself the following questions:
Who is in the audience? How does your message relate to them?
Are they experts in the field? Are they novices and know nothing about your topic, so you have to educate them from A to B?
Is this an audience that is receptive to what you are saying? Or is this an audience that might be a little hostile? Are you recommending something that might challenge their mindset or the way they work?
What is the level of people in the audience? Are they your senior managers or the board of directors? Are they your peers or your staff?
How do they like information presented? How much detail? How much focus on the problem vs. the solution?
Why should the audience care?
The second part of knowing the audience is answering the question, “Why should they care about what you have to say?”
Your audience is trying to manage the massive amount of information that gets thrown at them every day.  So you need to make it clear why they should pay attention to your presentation.  Be sure to answer the audience’s unspoken question, “WIIFM – what’s in it for me?”
Why is it important for them to understand your message? Is this something that is going to help them do their jobs better? Is it going to make their life easier? Is it going to entertain them and make them forget about stress for a while? Is it information that they are required to know? What is important about what you are saying in relation to their real situation?
Before you get up in front of an audience to present, make sure you understand as much as you can about them.  Doing so will help ensure that the audience understands your message and is able to act on it. 
by Gilda Bonanno www.gildabonanno.com
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com