Are you speaking the language of your audience?

After building an understanding of the purpose of a presentation, we move towards understanding about your audience, and their own interests. In order to know more about that, let's start with getting a view of the stakeholders.  

Who are the stakeholders? 

Different groups or segments in which people can be categorized based on their interest and the purpose of their association with an entity.

The primary stakeholders associated with corporations are its investors, employees, customers, partners, and so on.   

How a stakeholder perceives your presentation will also depend upon what exactly is at stake? And the answer to that may depend upon you, the stakeholder, or both. 

Here are a few examples of the stakeholders and the major factors at stake 


At stake: Quality of the product or service, value  


At stake: Salary, job security  


At stake: Financial return  


At stake: Revenue, safety  


At stake: Health, safety, better environment, better economy  


Taxes, GDP, national stability 

 In the above scenarios, the stakes change with the change in the stakeholders. There are multiple conclusions that you can make out of that: 

  • If the stakeholder is different, your presentation needs to differ too. 
  • The idea you are selling should align with the stakes. 
  • You need to focus on the interests of the stakeholders in order to be effective. 

If you look around, every conversation you make has something at the stake. And the better you understand its relevance and value to the stakeholder, the simpler it is for you to get your point across.  

In a way, every act of communication you make happens in front of an audience, irrespective of their scale and identity.

 You can break them down into two parts: External Audience & Internal Audience  

External audience: 

  • Society 
  • Press & Media 
  • Customers 
  • Government  
  • Followers 
  • Industry 
  • Analysts 
  • Shareholders 
  • Contractors 
  • Institutions 

Internal Audience: 

  • Employees 
  • Partners 
  • Board 
  • Consultants 
  • Vendors 
  • Investors 
  • Distributors 

You might have noticed the fundamental difference between the two: their understanding of you and your relationship with them.  

When you are presenting in front of an external audience you have to factor in the uncertain perception they might have about you, or the subject. Which, in a way, gives you more space to understand and interact with them.  

Whereas while presenting in front of an internal audience, you have an upper hand on developing an understanding, and predicting what you can expect from them. However, to get your point across, you have to present it in depth in a way that forms a clear picture in their mind. 

Sharing excessive information with the stakeholders can reduce their interest in the conversation.  

Understanding our audience, their interests, and the factors they have at stake also helps us to omit the unnecessary parts, and include the crisp and precise points that make sense to them. 

While you keep on experimenting with your ‘audience’ around you, we’re preparing to get back to you again!  

Note from the educator: 

We have covered a considerable segment of the course. Try correlating your knowledge from the previous sessions and put down your own perception of the ideas formed so far. You can also explore and experiment on your own if you like. See you next week. I've got much more in the store for you!  

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