Presenting to small audiences don’t necessarily mean easier audiences.

In a previous blog we described 5 tips on presenting to large audiences. Now is the turn for presenting to small audiences.

You may feel just as nervous presenting in-front of co-workers where all eyes are on you, as when you present to a large, faceless crowd. Sometimes the small audience feels more testing: they can ask questions, interact and put you on the spot.

Of course, presenting to small audiences is very common in business places and used for sales pitches, training and internal updates to name but a few. Perhaps even more so since the pandemic and we switched to presenting virtually.

5 tips for presenting to small audiences

5 tips for presenting to small audiences

5 tips to help you present to small audiences…

1. Know your audience (or research them)

For small groups you can deliver quite a focused presentation. You should find out beforehand who you are presenting to, what they are expecting to get out of the presentation, and how much they already know about the topic.

So go ahead and ask them! By email, a survey or a phone call. This is another effective way to put your audience first.

2. Customise your design to your audience

Consider tailoring your slide design to your audience type. If your presentation is a sales pitch you might want to use the target company’s brand colours in your design. You might also get away with more detailed visuals or graphs if the audience is closer to the screen (but not too much to overload them!). Are they young? Older? Are they corporate and more conservative? Would more imagery and bolder colours appeal? Give it some thought.

3. Make a connection

With a small audience you can (and should!) make eye contact with everyone in the room. Smaller groups will be more willing to interact with you, so it’s easier to ask questions along the way and get input from your audience. Try not to “perform” when it’s a small group, it won’t seem authentic. Just connect: be conversational, be approachable and relax.

4. Check your audience are with you

Being able to see faces allows you to get an idea of how well individuals might be following and understanding you. If you see confused expressions you could slow down and ask if anyone has any questions. If you see people are not looking at you, they may be losing interest. So that could be time to change the tempo (or show a video, or ask a question, or simply do something different) to get their attention back on track!

5. Interactive non-linear style presenting

In a larger presentation it might be a logistical challenge to go present in a non-linear style and keep everyone engaged. However, when presenting to small audiences the participants can speak up and show their areas of interest. This permits you to present in a non-linear style and with freedom thanks to a hyperlinked deck.

Whatever size your audience – we can help you design something that really impresses. Drop us a line to get a no-obligation quote.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is presenting to small audiences sometimes more challenging than presenting to large ones?
Presenting to small audiences can be just as nerve-wracking as presenting to large crowds. Despite the intimate setting, small audiences can pose unique challenges such as the ability to ask questions, interact, and put the presenter on the spot. This dynamic can sometimes make small audience presentations feel more testing than those to larger, faceless crowds.

How can I tailor my presentation to suit a small audience?
To tailor your presentation for a small audience, consider customising your design to match their preferences and characteristics. This might involve using the target company’s brand colors, adjusting visual complexity based on proximity to the screen, and considering the age, corporate culture, and preferences of the audience members. Making these adjustments can help create a more engaging and relevant presentation experience.

What strategies can I use to engage with a small audience during a presentation?
Engaging with a small audience involves making connections, maintaining eye contact with everyone in the room, and adopting a conversational and approachable tone. Encourage interaction by asking questions and soliciting input from audience members. Additionally, regularly check for signs of engagement such as facial expressions and adjust your pace or content accordingly to keep the audience’s attention.

How can I present in a non-linear style to a small audience effectively?
Presenting in a non-linear style to a small audience allows for greater flexibility and interaction. Utilise interactive features such as hyperlinked decks, and encourage participants to speak up and guide the direction of the presentation based on their interests. This approach enables a more dynamic and engaging presentation experience tailored to the needs and preferences of the small audience.