Nancy Duarte: The Importance Of Knowing Your Audience

Nancy Duarte is a pro when it comes to presentations. In this video lesson, she shares the importance of knowing your audience.

March 29th, 2016   |    By: The Startups Team    |    Tags: Market, Planning

Nancy Duarte is a pro when it comes to presentations. Not just giving presentations, but starting them, finishing them, and every step in between. Author and co-founder of Duarte Designs, Nancy Duarte is a seasoned veteran when it comes to incorporating storytelling into speaking and creating connections with an audience.

Nancy Duarte on The Importance of  Knowing Your Audience

The below video is the fifth part in a series of 10 in which Nancy shares the key components to making a successful pitch using creativity, critical thinking and how important it is to know your audience. Find out what she has to say:

Nancy Duarte

By this point in Nancy’s “Presentation is Everything” lesson, you know that your presentations revolve around the audience: who they are, why they’re there, what they want to hear and why they want to hear it.

Knowing how your
audience processes information

It is vital to know how your audience processes information. If you’re speaking to a group of venture capitalists, your presentation doesn’t need to be a cinematic and theatrical masterpiece. Something like a Slidedoc will do. Slidedocs are short, informative, and can be circulated among people interested in its content.

Switching gears, if you’re talking to a ballroom with thousands in the audience, they’re going to want to see something a little more interesting than a Slidedoc projected behind you. In this case, your presentation and slides should be a backdrop for you and your message.

According to Nancy, PowerPoint has replaced presentation collateral – something nobody talks about anymore. Folders filled with physical information used to accompany speeches and talks, but now all that material can be projected on a screen.

“Make your slides count when you send them out of house or when you stand up on a stage and deliver them.”

Technology and pitch presentations

Much like it does in every other aspect of today’s world, technology plays a huge role in a number of ways regarding your presentation.

Nancy says that although technology is supposed to connect us, it’s contributing to a growing distance between its users. Don’t believe her? Today, 85% of presentations are done remotely.

Remote presentations eliminate the ability to have meaningful and in-person conversations. The lack of physical presence in front of the people to whom you’re talking can discourage engagement.

“If you’re in a remote setting…audio trumps visual,” says Nancy.

Whether you’re doing a remote slideshow or e-learning lesson, your number one competitor is going to be an email inbox. It’s going to distract your audience, so you need to make your content interesting and hold their attention.

Getting your To audience listen

Nancy has employed a few techniques to make sure her audience is listening to what she’s saying. She adds humor and jokes to ensure her listeners won’t to miss anything. And when she’s talking herself, she’s use vocal variety and intermittent pausing to keep the audience on their toes.

Spreading the message of your startup is vital, especially as your company is in its initial stages and experiencing growth and gaining new customers. Listening to Nancy and really knowing your audience to build an effective message can be a powerful tool to your success.


About the Author

The Startups Team

Startups is the world's largest startup platform, helping over 1 million startup companies find customers, funding, mentors, and world-class education.

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