It’s been said that great minds think alike, but when it comes to presenting an idea to a group some brains couldn’t be more different. That’s why it’s important to understand the special characteristics and needs of your audience before giving a presentation.

In this article, we’ll take a look at three ways to evaluate your audience and how the process can help you deliver more effective, influential presentations.


Demographics can include information on age, gender, and ethnicity, as well as religion, economic status, political preferences, levels of education and other data. Understanding the demographics of your group helps you determine the style and content that is most appropriate for your presentation. This background information provides insight into what is already understood and what needs to be included. Demographic data can also help you avoid offensive remarks and topics that wouldn’t relate to, or be appreciated by, the audience.


Behaviors reflect how the audience communicates, thinks, responds to suggestions, reacts to change, and moves to action. By evaluating the behaviors of your specific group, you can communicate your message in ways that are easy to understand and embrace. Best of all, this analysis helps you anticipate what motivates, and discourages, your audience so they will listen and be compelled to act.


A group of C-level decision makers are more likely to respond favorably to a short presentation demonstrating bottom-line results, whereas financial backers need to see numbers and a return on investment. This is because these are two different audiences, and every audience has different needs. Audiences are best served by a presentation that targets those needs. Identifying needs ahead of time helps you adjust your presentation so that you can include the most relevant stories, visuals, tone and delivery.

All-inclusive presentations that offer identical information to every audience may save time, but they are a costly shortcut that can cheat you of the results you desire. Use these three methods of evaluating your audience – demographics, behaviors and needs – so that you can fully understand what motivates your group and how you can hit those motivators to help your idea take flight.

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Henderson is a Charter Member & Community Reporter with the Village Connector Community News. She is also an Interpersonal skills & personal branding expert. She helps people SHOW they’re as great as they say they are. Sylvia hosts a cable TV program focusing on business & professional development called “Think About It!”. See: ThinkAboutIt.TV for air times. Sign up for monthly content and bring Sylvia to your organization at: or visit her Blog at: