Public Speaking: Identify the Audience

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Identifying the audience for public speaking is important to be able to interact effectively. Identify the audience with tips from a communication specialist in this free video on public speaking.

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Video Transcript

Before you can understand what motivates your specific audience you have to know exactly who your audience is. Now, very often that is not an issue. Very often presentations are sort of a requirement, so and so can you give a presentation to your working group about where you are on the project x, y, z. Very often you are giving a presentation as a member of a community organization, as somebody who is doing some outreach, as one member of a team in an organization that has a team that needs to know more about what your team is doing. If that's the case you need to do deep background on who that audience is. You at least should start by getting names, not necessarily everybody who's going to be showing up, but names of people who are invited so that you can get an idea of who is going to be showing up. Then you need to do deep background on who those people are in terms of their perspective, in terms of how they are going to feel about your content, in terms of whether or not they're going to know anything about your content and in terms of how they might feel about the organization or the team you represent. Now, how do you get that information? You may have a lot of it already, which is great. If you do you can trust your gut or you can go to others who may know about those people and ask for confirmation. If you don't know anything about those people on your own then ask. Who was it who asked you to make the presentation? Do they know about the audience? If not, do they know people who would know about the audience? Now, when that's the case I caution you to get information or opinions as they turn out being from a variety of sources. I have more than often been told they are going to hate you; they are going to hate everything you have to say and that's just not the case. More often than not they are curious, they want to know what it is that the presenter is going to say. So, instead of being biased try to get information and then out of that information answer the question what is it that I can give them that is going to be of value to them.


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