Easy Ways To Share Your Expertise
I have a co-worker who is a subject matter expert on digital marketing and e-commerce. As such, he's a highly sought-after speaker on these topics for numerous conferences each year. For efficiency, he has developed a primary presentation which he customizes for each audience based on listeners' roles and levels of experience
Are you an expert in your field? Are you asked to present your knowledge in different settings, from client meetings to industry panels? If so, how can you strike the right balance and effectively deliver a high-quality presentation to different audiences?
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share three key tips from Dorie Clark, a professional speaker who delivers between 30 to 50 paid keynotes annually.
1. Create your content in modules. Clark says to envision the sections of your speech as "modules" that you can shift and reshuffle as needed. Develop blocks of content or information that you can expand on verbally. Then you can move these blocks of content to different areas of your presentation, depending on the audience.
Clark points out that thinking of your speech not as one undifferentiated whole, but instead as 12 to 15 segments lasting a few minutes each, can enable you to envision new ways to swap out or reorder your talk to better suit the circumstances.
2. Know your audience in advance of the presentation. This can easily be accomplished via email or a quick phone conversation with the organizer. You'll want to find out relevant demographic and psychographic information so you can choose the modules that most directly apply to the attendees' life situations. It's worth finding out whether there is a typical age or gender for the attendees (for instance, if it's a session for executives or for recent college graduates), and any commonalities in geography, functional role, industry, etc.
With this information, you can make personalized comments through the presentation that directly address your key audiences. This helps you to get their attention and create a stronger, more memorable bond with your audiences.
3. Clarify the desired outcome. What is the outcome or key takeaway you want the audience to have. If you are a guest speaker, what do the conference organizers want to achieve by having you speak? With those goals in mind, you can choose which modules from your standard presentation to include, and whether you need to develop tailored material to augment it. Based on the results, you can then determine how much of your prepared content is applicable and how much new content you'll need to create.
To be an effective presenter, balance your knowledge and expertise with modifications for the particular audience you are addressing. By following these strategies, you can deliver uniquely valuable information to your listeners that is engaging and memorable.
Source: Dorie Clark is a marketing strategist and professional speaker who teaches at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. She is the author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out. She is also a contributor to HBR.org.