• open panel
  • Home
  • Audience
  • If you could do only one thing to improve your business presentation, what would it be?

If you could do only one thing to improve your business presentation, what would it be?


What’s In It for Me?


So what’s your presentation about?

I’ve got to show the sales guys how to use a new software.

Why do the sales guys want to learn the new software?


Is it required of their job?


What does the new software do?

It’s the software we’re going to use to track sales in the pipeline.

Does it tie to their commissions if they make the sale?

(Look of dawning realization) Yeah, it does.  I get it, they may have to learn the new software, but what they’re going to care about most is getting paid.  That’s the “what’s in it for me” not because it’s required by the job.


Know What Your Audience Cares About 


Time is limited.  Preparing for that upcoming business presentation is taking time away from your “real” job.  If you could do only one thing to improve your presentation the most, what would it be?  Take a look at your presentation from the audience’s perspective and answer the question “So what?”  Why should they, your audience, care about this presentation.


When studying what others say about doing speeches or presentation, one piece of advice that was ALWAYS mentioned was that you need to have one purpose for your presentation.  At first glance, that seemed to make sense.  Maybe it seems to make sense to you too.  But in my studying of the art and science of presentations – watching great speakers and speaking frequently myself – I’m convinced that having one purpose for your presentation is dead wrong.  Here’s why.


The “one purpose” approach encourages people to focus on themselves as a speaker and what they want to accomplish.  When you’re standing in front of an audience taking up the finite commodity of their time, shouldn’t what the audience wants also be taken into account?  Shouldn’t you also consider what they want to get out of the presentation?


Most presenters spend time thinking about what they want to say but very little time thinking about WHY their audience WANTS to hear it.  Notice I said WANTS, not “needs.”  Whether the presentation is mandatory, voluntary or an afterthought for the audience, spend time thinking about why your audience WANTS to know about what you have to say.

If you put yourself in your audience’s tasseled loafers, if you think about what they care about and how that relates to the topic you are going to present, you’ll go leap steps ahead in improving your business presentation!


Are you stuck trying to figure out how to make your topic relevant to your audience, give me a call at 770-597-1108 and let’s talk it over!  Or enter your situation in the comments below and more of us can jump in and help you find out!