Know your audience? What is the similarity between Hollywood movies and PowerPoint presentations? More often than not, both fail. Why? Because the creators of the presentation have not taken time to understand their target audience well. Unless and until the presentation has something that the audience can relate too, be assured your presentation will fail. And in order to build that all-important relationship, we need to understand various types of the target audience.
There are 4 kinds of target audience in any PowerPoint presentation. Have those in mind when you build your PowerPoint presentation and when you get to know your audience.
The Producers & Directors
This is the senior management of the organization. They are looking for the big picture, headlines, and top-level views. Give them too many details and they will start yawning. Give them too little and they will find the presentation to be superficial. The best way to deal with such an audience is to give them the complete picture but not the nitty-gritty details. On your mission to get to know your audience, these stakeholders might be the most important to satisfy.
In Hollywood language, talk to them about the plot, the actors for each character, but not details like locations or wardrobes. Producers and directors do not expect or like arguments. They are more inclined to give decisions – more so in a presentation room where their need for power projection is very high and needs to be met. The best way to handle them in a presentation – do not argue with them. This will help you with get to know your audience.
The Art Directors
Art directors, set designers, wardrobe designers, makeup artists, scriptwriters. All part of the nameless, faceless army of professionals who get the money but never the fame. In corporate parlance – the middle management.
They actually bring the vision of senior management to life by looking into each and every detail. Middle-level managers are very proud of their ability to manage details. If you are presenting to this audience, fill your PowerPoint presentation with details.
Middle-level professionals need to know every single detail so that they can ensure all loose ends are tied up. If presenting to this audience, be prepared for long meetings and be ready to debate (not argue) your point. Do you get why it is important to know your audience?
The third kind of target audience in a meeting is a contributor. Pumped up with team spirit, they believe it is their duty to contribute to every discussion even if they do not know anything about the subject. For this target audience, the sense of belonging is more critical than heroism.
If you find this audience in the meeting room, create pause-points in your PowerPoint presentation. Ask positively loaded yet pointed questions like “Do you agree?” (with a nod of head for positive motivation) or “You agree…right?”. As team players, they would not want to be seen as the odd one out and most probably agree with your point of view. Do you find it difficult to get to know your audience when making a PowerPoint?
Constructive criticism is an art that is rarely practiced in presentation rooms. Most of the time critics main aim is to get the spotlight focused on themselves. Their sole aim is to either discredit your work or take the credit for your work by making small improvements to the original idea.
Critics are a powerful force in the room and can work well in your favor if you play the ”team spirit” card. Acknowledge their ideas and promise to investigate this post-meeting. Keep the meeting focussed on your point-of-view. To address the critics is fundamental when you get to know your audience.
OK. You have some tools in order to know your audience when making a PowerPoint presentation. Now you are armed with the knowledge of the major personality types. Think about which ones are going to be in the room and what you are going to put in the PowerPoint presentation to satisfy them.
Easier said than done. Give it a shot. Only once you start making PowerPoint presentations, will you master the fine art of corporate balancing. Give something to everyone and the complete whole to yourself. Remember, in any presentation, you need to the STAR. I hope you feel you are in a better place in your journey to get to know your audience no.
In case you are finding it difficult to write a presentation that can cater to the above mindsets, send me an email using our contact form and we will work along with you on a PowerPoint presentation that will make you shine like a STAR.