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Options for Presenting Information to an Audience

Rujuta Borkar
There are several options for presenting information to an audience that one can choose from. Here will help you with several choices for the same.
Say you have an important presentation to make at the office or a report to give at school; or maybe you have to teach a lesson to the kids in class, how are you planning to go about it? How are you going to present the data? You'll need options to present the information, of course. That is what we are sharing in the following sections.
Why is it necessary to have options for presenting information to an audience, you ask? ― if you have a lot of choices for the same, you'll be able to disseminate the information in the best possible manner, so that it reaches the audience in the most effective way, and they understand it immediately. Therefore, having a choice of options is important.

The Different Ways

Before getting into the ways of disseminating information to the audience, it is necessary to understand the kind of topic you have at hand and the kind of audience that you're dealing with. Certain techniques are not suited for a particular audience.
For example, if you use a powerpoint presentation to teach second standard kids, then there is a rare possibility that they'll understand the technicalities of it. For an ideal presentation for kids, colorful charts or audio visuals should be used. This will make it more likely that they will understand the subject at hand.

Large Group

When presenting information to a large group of people, it always helps if you have an aid to help you out. One person reaching out to a huge crowd may not always yield the best results.
In order for success at the task at hand, one needs to understand that the large group will have a very short attention span, therefore you will need something to grip them and keep them interested. These will include large meetings, gatherings, or rallies.
Powerpoint Presentations: A powerpoint presentation that is brought to the audience with the help of a projector is one of the best options to use, especially if it is a large audience.
When there is a large group present, it is impossible to be able to hold on to their attention for a long time. If there is an aid which has all the points written in brief, it not only helps the audience to connect and understand better, but it also helps the presenter to not go off track.
Videos and Films: If it is a message that you want to convey, for example, the importance of using condoms to prevent aids, then the best option is to use the medium of a video film, like advertising or documentary films.
Showing them a documentary that is related to the topic will help to get the message across. After the film is over, reinforce those points by explaining the related points in brief, or have a question answer session to see if the points have been driven home.
Audio-Visual Mediums: These mediums include television, radio, Internet, newspapers, and billboards/hoardings (tools of mass media). If you think about any of these options in depth, you will realize that this is exactly what they are doing―passing information to a large group of audience.
But the audience is generic so there is no demarcation of the group as such. It is for the masses. If one wants to concentrate on a large group in a marketing or business set up, then one can show a corporate film about a product, then give a presentation about it.

Small Group

A small group of people could be anywhere between 5-10 (add or minus a few). Even though one could use the same methods as those used to pass information to a large group (as mentioned), the methods need to be molded a little, to better suit the group at hand. Some other ways by which you can ensure success in the message reaching the audiences effectively.
✦ In addition to a powerpoint presentation, passing booklets and pamphlets around also helps the cause a lot.
✦ Having a keynote speaker who has excellent communication skills and can connect with the audience is also an effective way of reaching the point across.
✦ Having an interactive session is also found to be very effective.
✦ If it is a very informal group then discussions over lunch or dinner might also work just as effectively.
✦ In case of children (very young) using methods like bold and colorful pictures, cartoons, videos and. other aids (clay, puppets, books, audio cds) helps tremendously.
Presentation Techniques: Not only is it important to choose the methods (to pass the information) based on the group and size of the audience, but it is also important to have some general points in mind when presenting the information.
✦ Prepare the topic well. It is important to understand that these are just 'aids'. They should only help, not do your work for you. The less you depend on them, the more effective you'll be.

✦ Develop the skill to judge the audience. An audience will not always be constant. Be able to shift styles and methods when you feel like you are losing your audience.
✦ Incorporating humor, personal experiences, and certain incidents or anecdotes in your presentation (sparingly) will make it much more effective and easier for the audience to connect with you and the message being dispelled.

✦ Having an interactive session keeps the audience alert and thereby they can connect with the message better.
Now that everything is clear, you can prepare effectively enough and go on to give the best presentation to your audience.