6 Ways to Get People to Your Presentation

Our fire department has begun implementing the Remembering When program.  This program, produced by the National Fire Protection Association, is a fall and fire prevention program for older adults.  The program consists of 8 fall prevention behaviors, and 8 fire prevention behaviors. 

During the creation of this program, focus groups determined the following top 6 ways to get people (especially older adults) to attend and listen to your presentation.
  1. Good quality presentation.  Content is always king.  A presentation that adds value to the listener and is well presented,  lets people leave with a sense of having gained something, not just wasted time.  A good presentation will also attract future audiences, due to word of mouth (especially applicable to the older adult demographic).
    • The presentation should be brief, 20-30 minutes.  The Remembering When program has several time ranges, however, the main messages and presentation does not exceed 25 minutes.
    • Focus on key messages.  Focus the presentation on the most important messages. It would be impossible to make an exhaustive presentation (on any topic) in only 20-30 minutes.  The object of the presentation is for the information to be retained, we do not want our listeners to suffer from information overload.
    • The presenter should be a trusted expert.  The donning of our firefighters uniform, automatically  makes us the trusted expert.  Do not do anything that would violate this trust.  A well rehearsed presentation can make anyone seem like an expert on any subject.  Practice!
  2. Transportation provided or easily accessible.  Our library system has branches strategically located throughout the county.  Partnering with them provides a convenient location.  We also partner with our local Council on Aging, they have a transportation service that picks up and brings people to there facility.
  3. Food provided, include this information in the advertising.  Everyone loves going to a meeting, knowing that food will be provided. Also, provides a free meal for those who are financially disadvantaged.
  4. Door prizes.  Everyone loves free stuff! This also creates a buzz among the participants, and a certain level of competition.
  5. Time of day.  Focus groups determined that the best time of day to offer a presentation (for older adults) is at 10 am or after noon, around 2 pm.
  6. Provide follow-up session.  Collect names and contact information, at the very least provide a phone call or e-mail as a follow up.  Remembering When, also has a home visit/risk-assessment component that provides a great method for follow up.