Posts Tagged ‘facts’

Have empathy for the audience

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Not everyone is expert at composing graphics and tables and presentations. Not everyone is a good writer. However, we all consider ourselves experts at being part of an audience. We watch TV, listen to the radio, watch movies, read books, listen to conversations, and act as an audience several times a day. What do you like in a presentation? Most people like pictures (not descriptions), brevity (not long-winded stories reliving every detail), facts (more than speculation), provocative challenges (rather than whitewash that offends the fewest people), debate among alternatives (rather than obvious bias), and clarity (rather than ambiguity). As we prepare a presentation, we should ask ourselves whether we would want to listen to it. We are our own best critics, so we should try to evaluate our presentation from the audience’s perspective.