Presentations are an excellent opportunity to connect with the globe, share your ideas, educate the audience, and network with people from different parts of the world.
However, it is not necessary that everybody in your audience has the same level of experience or knowledge and belongs to the same background as you.
Thus, being a presenter endows you with the responsibility of making your audience feel that they are a part of the presentation and are well-included in it.
They must never feel left out or excluded from the presentation.
Here are a few such tips that will help you craft the most inclusive presentation ever!
- 1 1.) Understand Your Audience
- 2 2.) Harness The Power Of Inclusive Visuals
- 3 3.) Step Away From Stereotypes
- 4 4.) Make Your Language Inclusive
- 5 5.) Create An Equitable Space For Participation
- 6 6.) Ensure Accessibility For Your Audience
- 7 7.) Incorporate Diversity In Your Slides
- 8 8.) Refrain From Using Gendered Language
- 9 Conclusion
1.) Understand Your Audience
The most important step to ensure that your presentation is inclusive is to understand your audience.
This will allow you to tailor a presentation to their needs and make sure that you do not exclude anybody unintentionally.
You can start by answering the following questions-
- What is the audience’s cultural background?
- What are the genders that you will be presenting to?
- Will there be a diverse audience from multiple segments?
- Are there any people with special needs?
Understanding these points and crafting your slides according to them will ensure that everybody is seen, heard, and understood during the presentation.
You can gather this information during the time of your presentation’s registration process with the help of a form.
2.) Harness The Power Of Inclusive Visuals
Adding visuals and graphics to your presentation can make them stand apart from the crowd.
Thus, make sure to incorporate inclusive illustrations, photos, and videos to make your presentation more engaging, interactive, and appealing.
You can begin by using pre-designed icons and templates that reflect inclusivity and make people feel that they are a part of your presentation.
For instance, if you are presenting about your workplace and its hiring policies, you can use the Inclusive Hiring template and create an impact with your presentation.
This will not only captivate the audience but will also reflect the values and culture of your organization.
3.) Step Away From Stereotypes
Stereotypes can be harmful and exclusionary. They can destroy your reputation as a presenter and can hurt the sentiments of your audience.
Stereotypes are mostly seen in the form of gender roles, cultural backgrounds, or occupational thoughts. Such ideas foster complications and create unnecessary prejudices.
Thus, it is crucial to step away from stereotypes in your presentation and use examples and illustrations from a broader perspective.
4.) Make Your Language Inclusive
Language is the most important part of your presentation. Using inclusive language in your slides and delivery is extremely crucial to ensure that your presentations are inclusive and thoughtful.
For instance, instead of using pronouns such as ‘he/she,’ you can refer to hypothetical persons through gender-neutral pronouns like ‘they.’
5.) Create An Equitable Space For Participation
Creating a safe space for participation, discussions, and questions is necessary for ensuring that everybody can walk along together.
Watch over the fact that all persons in the audience get an equal chance to raise questions and participate in activities. Try to encourage people to share their perspectives, experiences, and feedback with you.
6.) Ensure Accessibility For Your Audience
Accessibility is the most important element of an inclusive presentation. It can create a sense of oneness and emotional connection with the audience.
Accessibility can be incorporated in many ways-
- You can provide sign language for people who are hard of hearing or deaf.
- Select a venue that is accessible for people with mobility issues and impairments.
- Use bigger fonts for the audience sitting at the back and for those who have poor eyesight.
- Keep a language translator if you are expecting a crowd from different regions.
- If you are circulating handouts, ask for your audience’s language preferences. You must also have them in Braille for those who are blind.
7.) Incorporate Diversity In Your Slides
Diversity is the key to uniting your audience and winning their hearts. Incorporating diversity can make your presentations more inclusive and help your audience feel more satisfied with the presentation.
You can use examples from diverse cultures, case studies, feature speakers or leaders of different nations, showcase experiences of minorities, and display viewpoints from different cultures and backgrounds.
Make sure that you respect each one of these examples and deliver them with utmost responsibility.
Let us understand with the example of AirBnb. In its recent campaign, “Belong Anywhere,” AirBnB features hosts and guests from diverse cultural backgrounds.
They launched the campaign with an initiative to highlight underrepresented communities in the travel segment.
Watch their campaign here:
8.) Refrain From Using Gendered Language
Gendered language is one of the biggest barriers to the development of society and is the root cause of exclusion.
Even though we hardly notice, most of our conversations are set in a gendered language, be it intentionally or unintentionally.
Refraining from using such language in your presentations can aid in creating more inclusive slides and provide an intriguing experience to the audience.
For instance, gendered language would say, “Our highest paying clients are businessmen,” while inclusive language would say, “Our highest paying clients are business persons.”
Crafting and delivering inclusive presentations must be seen as a necessity for all organizations.
As we step towards a more responsible and inclusive world, our presentations must reflect our values too.
It is important to be aware of the unknowing ways in which we make our presentations exclusionary and rectify them to make our slides more welcoming.
We hope this article helps you deliver a more inclusive presentation!