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Schlagwörter: English Trainer, Businessenglish, Meeting auf Englisch, Korrespondenz, OWAD

Someone once said there are three key things you need to think about for a good presentation: the audience, the audience and the audience….

The audience is the reason for the presentation. To make your presentation a successful one, you need to define and assess the audience and try to put yourself in their shoes. To do that you need to think about five things. To help me remember them when I’m preparing a presentation, I use the acronym MEETS.

M means Motivation

Why is your audience there? Why should they be listening to you? Do they really want to be there? You might have a lot of good ideas but are they relevant to this particular group of people? Are they fresh or are they suffering from jet-lag?

People are often there simply because it’s the weekly meeting or because the boss told them to be there. If people are not particularly motivated, you have to provide that motivation. But if people are highly motivated for particular reasons, then you need to address those reasons.

E means Expectations

Most audiences have certain expectations. Are they expecting to be informed, entertained, amused, convinced, challenged or bored? When someone in an audience is listening to you, they are also mentally tuning in to an internal radio station – WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? Somewhere along the way you need to give an audience what it needs or expects. Occasionally you might need to change the unrealistic expectations of the audience or deliberately upset their expectations in order to create an impact.

E means Experience

What does your audience already know? This can be their level of knowledge of the subject area and their previous experience with you, your organisation, your products or services. Has this previous experience been positive or negative? What is the cultural and linguistic background of your audience? In other words, on which level do you need to pitch your message?

T means Time

How long do you have for the presentation? Most presentations suffer because the presenter tries to cram too much information into a short time. You need to plan your material to fit the time limits and your audience’s ability to take in the information. The worst thing you can do is to tell an audience you are going to speak for 20 minutes and then speak for 30 or 40 additional minutes.

S means Size

How many people will you be speaking to? There is nothing worse than expecting 10 people and finding yourself facing 100! With smaller audiences it can be easier to establish relationships rapidly, be less formal and create a workshop atmosphere.

With audiences of 10 or more it’s usually better to stand up and it requires a more formal presentation style. Larger audiences (over 30 people) are more anonymous and more demanding. The larger the audience, the more theatrical thesituation. You really need to think carefully about your visual aids, lighting, projecting your voice or using a microphone and how to run question and answer sessions.

The 5 P's

Use the MEETS approach before preparing any presentation you make. It might only take a few minutes with groups you know well, whilst it might take much longer with groups you have never spoken to before. Then you might have to really do some homework, make some calls to conference organisers, to some of your prospective audience or to colleagues who know them.

Remember the saying “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” Putting yourself in the shoes of the audience will start that preparation off in the right way. An example of a MEETS audience assessment for a presentation on time management in a workshop at a conference for middle managers.


As the participants have signed up for this part of the conference they should be fairly motivated. Some of them seem to be fellow trainers who want to get some new ideas, but most of them are genuine managers who want to learn either for themselves or to pass on to their staff. Check this at the start of the presentation.


The advertising for the presentation emphasises that they will gain some practical tools for their work situations. They probably expect 4-5 tools they can take away and use immediately. As the workshop is at the end of the afternoon, they need to be kept awake! Build in activation exercises.


Most of them have almost certainly some experience with time management techniques, otherwise they would not be managers or trainers. Try to check this with the conference organisers. Choose to present the more creative, less standard tools for this group.


60 minutes. This is a rather short time, so don’t conduct a question and answer session at the end – the interactive approach should allow for their questions to be answered during the process. Maximum four tools – 15 minutes each.


So far 12 people have signed up and the maximum allowed is 30. The organisers think probably 20 will turn up. So this will be a stand-up, more formal presentation.

Schlagwörter: English Trainer, Businessenglish, Meeting auf Englisch, Korrespondenz, OWAD

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