Speak to the Listening of the Audience

In the past few months, I’ve had the good fortune of having to sit through some pretty important meetings. In most of these meetings a lot of presentations were involved by senior people. The singular thing that struck me was the lack of “audience awareness” (i.e. who the audience are, why are they in that meeting/conference, what is of importance to them etc.) by the people presenting.

Which brought me to think why do we always complicate simplicity?

Perhaps that’s too broad or generic a statement. But the occasions that I recollect, as I write this, brings to mind the information that the audience required. 4 out of 5 occasions the content could have been presented in less than 10 powerpoint slides ie in about 20 minutes!

As my mentor often says–“Speak to the Listening of the Audience“!

Great public speakers and excellent presenters all have one golden rule—Understand your  audience! Once you know the mind-frame and requirement of your audience, crafting content is (actually) simple.

However, often we tend to labour around simplicity and shy away from it, incase simplicity means too little and as an expert how can one say too little!

So here are 3 simple tips to those of you presenting in meetings, stakeholders or to public:

  1. Know who you are talking too—Find out who your audience is. Else don’t talk!
  2. Understand what the key issues are for your audience—and highlight the core problem.
  3. Provide a roadmap or action plan from your experience and how it can be executed.

Using these 3 tips has helped me personally in many a senior level and public presentation and I’m sure it will be of immense help to those of you who try it.


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