Know your audience
You can’t influence or persuade your audience unless you know how they make decisions
It’s critical to:
- Prepare by researching the audience members
- If possible, build alliances with them before the presentation
- Prepare them well for your presentation – send an agenda or a brief description of the project beforehand
- Practice your pitch and be comfortable with it
- Get feedback from colleagues
- Have the facts at hand to answer questions and provide additional detail if required.
Think about whom you are pitching to
Ask yourself the following questions about the group:
- How much does each of them know about the subject matter? What level of detail is appropriate?
- Are there differing views within the group? What are they?
- Who might object and why? What can I do to neutralise negativity?
- How does the group make decisions? Is there a dominant voice? Is it a consensus-driven process?
- What else is on the agenda? Is it the right time to pitch?
- How can we show how this project will benefit them as a group and individually?
- How can I make them care about this project?