The first step when preparing a presentation should consist in conducting a short analysis of the public it will be addressed to. Indeed, some of the audience’s characteristics ought definitely to be taken into account, so that you may be able to identify their needs both in terms of the information they expect you to convey and the way in which you will bring it to them.
IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE’S EXPECTATIONS
First, in order to accurately identify the nature of the audience’s expectations, you may ask yourself such questions as:
IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE’S "CAPACITY OF ABSORPTION"
After answering all these questions and identifying your public’s interests, you will have to try and determine 1) the form your exposé will have to take in order to reach out to them, and 2) the amount of information they will be able to take in. This may be done by asking yourself the following questions:
All this analysis will be aimed at answering the questions "How much information will they be able to absorb?" and "How can I best convey it to them?". Obviously, a presentation to children would look very different from a presentation to a group of scientists.
Moreover, the timing of the presentation will be of critical importance. Indeed, presenting in front of an audience late in the day, especially after hours of other presentations, can clearly be very difficult. In this case, some modifications should definitely be applied to the presentation, in order to make it more interesting for the audience.
As a conclusion, you should always take a little time to analyze your audience’s key characteristics when preparing a presentation. It does not matter whether there are few people or hundreds listening, nor whether the public is already familiar with you or you are completely new to them. What matters is for the presentation to take the relevant available data into account, so you may adapt it to your public.