How do you prepare for and deliver a great experience for your audience in a virtual or in person presentation?

In a recent podcast for Barron’s Advisor, I talked to Matt Abrahams. Matt is a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where he teaches two very popular classes in Strategic Communication and Effective Virtual Presenting.

What Your Audience Needs to Hear

Matt said many presenters start in the wrong place because they focus on what they want to say. Instead, he said you have to start with what does your audience need to hear. That means you have to put your audience first and do reconnaissance, reflection, and research about their background.

What’s important to them?

What do they already know?

What are their attitudes?

Understanding who your audience is and what their needs are puts you in a better position to craft a presentation that delivers what they need–and want–to hear.

Your Goal

Once you have a good understanding of your audience, the next key is you have to come up with a goal. Matt thinks all communication must be goal-based.

“And to me, a goal has three parts: information, emotion, and action. What do I want the audience to know? How do I want them to feel? And what do I want them to do as a result of my communication? Once you have a goal based on what you’ve thought about your audience, then you can start actually structuring your communication.”

So here’s the pro tip, as you develop your presentation, structure it around: know, feel, do.

It’s easy to remember and enables you to educate your audience, get a reaction from them, and cause them to do something.

Matt also shared many other practical ideas that you can implement right now. To listen, click here.