We understand that projects cannot be undertaken without the necessary resources. We spend a large part of the planning and execution stages of our projects, acquiring and managing resources. It’s no different when you must address your stakeholders.
Every time you present or share information, you must consider resourcing that activity properly. You need to focus on knowing your audience, supporting your points and using visual aids properly.
Try to find out as much as possible about your audience so you can choose the correct approach to your presentation. If you have a stakeholder register, consider tracking the following information for this purpose: age range, occupational status, economic status, educational background, political orientation and, even, leisure activities. Please note that the intention is to capture your perception of this information. Use approximate, rather than absolute, values for these categories. You don’t want to worry about running afoul of privacy requirements. Knowing your audience allows you to aim high enough to not be boring but low enough to be understandable.
Your delivery will hinge on the quality of what you present and your ability to communicate the knowledge. Consider gathering the following material while preparing your material to support your points: definitions, descriptions, explanations, facts, authorities. (You use authorities when you lack facts. Authorities express expert opinions. Don’t rely solely on authorities to make your point.)
Used properly, visual aids can enhance your presentation by dramatizing your point, adding visual interest, and focusing the audience’s attention. Visual aids help with the listener’s understanding and retention. You should consider whether flip charts, handouts or a PowerPoint would be suitable with your delivery.
- Flip charts are inexpensive and simple to use. You can prepare the sheets ahead of time or fill them out as part of your presentation. Flip charts work best with small audiences.
- Handouts are also inexpensive but can be use with any size audience. Consider giving your listeners a copy after the presentation as a reference and refresher.
- While ideal for any size audience, PowerPoint presentations do require the necessary equipment – computer, projector, screen - be available and set up.
Remember that each presentation, speech or talk needs to be properly resourced. Learn as much as you can about your audience so your points can be properly supported and use visual aids to enhance understanding.