As I mentioned before, planning and rehearsing are critical for successful presentations. There is, however, one thing that you might have to do on the spot: a meet and greet.
For those of you who do a lot of one-off seminars, you might not have a clue about your audience beforehand. Yet, as previously discussed, tailoring your content to your audience is critical. So dos this mean that we are at an impasse here? Not at all.
Good presenters arrive early (especially if the venue is unfamiliar). Oftentimes a good amount of the audience will also arrive early. Once you have set up your equipment, instead of quietly reviewing notes or chatting with the event staff, go ahead and engage the audience instead.
Find out why they came, what they hope to get out of your presentation, and even what their hobbies are. Once the presentation begins, use this information to customize the more flexible parts of your presentation to your audience’s needs and interests.
Doing this doesn’t require rewriting your whole presentation on the spot. A little flexibility (e.g. examples for concepts that you are teaching) can go a long way in engaging your audience and earning more positive feedback.