Presentation skills: it's all about your audience

Presentation Skills are all about your audience

 This probably sounds obvious. If you have no audience, then your presentation is pointless, right?

However, most people who train on our presentation skills training courses aren't worried about their audience, they're worried about themselves.

Of course, presentation skills trainees mention the audience, but usually in relation to their own anxiety about presenting in front of them.

A good proportion of presentation skills training is spent helping presenters feel confident enough to speak to an audience, and allaying the many fears they have around public speaking.

This is all perfectly natural, of course.

However, one of the quickest ways to bypass these concerns is to realise that they aren't actually as important as you imagine. What really matters is your audience and the experience that your presentation provides.

A great first step to enhancing your presentation skills is to turn your focus outwards, away from any concerns you have about presentation nerves, or your voice, or corporate protocol or anything else, and focus entirely on your audience.

In presenting, the audience is all that matters. They won't care about how nervous you were as long as they found your presentation useful or interesting or both.

The first questions any presenter needs to ask is: what do I want my audience to think during my presentation?

Closely followed by: What do I want my audience to feel during my presentation?

Rather than regarding your presentation as a presentation of your thoughts and your feelings, regard it as an opportunity to lead your audience along a new path, to lead your audience in their thoughts and their feelings.

The best presenters lead their audiences to new places, rather than worrying about themselves.

David Windle