I am a firm believer that customizing a presentation is critical. The question is, “Can it be overdone?”
I think so.
Having just come back from the National Speakers Association convention, I saw many presentations that were so customized they lost their essence.
Some of the customization was a stretch. Many of the presenters would have been better off “owning” and delivering their original material and doing it really well, rather than trying make changes for a one-time presentation to meet audience demographics.
After all, there are principles, content and humor that are universally relevant. Why not stick to them rather than reinvent the wheel?
The use of timing, body language and vocal variety is also universal.
These important delivery elements seem to be more natural when a speaker is comfortable with the material.
The bottom line is that a well-crafted, well-delivered presentation takes time to put together and to practice.
It’s necessary to customize, but stay true to what you do, and trust that your audience members are smart enough to decide how things apply to them.
Too much of a good thing could turn out to be a bad thing.