Public Speaking: Adjust to the Audience

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Adjusting to the audience's knowledge level for public speaking is a foundational way to keep them engaged. Adjust to the audience's level with tips from a communication specialist in this free video on public speaking.

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Video Transcript

Adjust for your audience's knowledge level. Here's something else that you can do to get to know your audience in the moment as well. There is absolutely no reason that you can't just stop and look at your audience when you're about to deliver a particular topic and say, "Who's had experience with making presentations to multi-cultural audiences?" for example. People raise their hands. Nobody raises their hand. One person raises their hand. You understand your audience better, and boom you've also got a way to interact with your audience. If one person raises their hand, then you've got one person in the audience who can back up what you're saying and even add to what you're saying. Regardless of whether or not you've got somebody in your audience who has experience with the topic you're talking about, by asking the audience when you need to if they've had experience with something, then you can continually adjust your content so that it you're delivering the parts of it that are are going to a value to them. And you can also get a sense of what is absolutely over their heads beyond anything they know about so that you can eliminate the really esoteric stuff that won't be of value to them. And you can really spend time on the things that are just past their knowledge level because that's the area in which you're going to be delivering real valuable information to them. So interacting with your audience. Adjusting to their knowledge level. Ask who in the audience has had experience with that. Make sure when you're asking the question that you're not asking it in ways that make people feel stupid to answer. Like, "Does anybody know anything about blah, blah, blah that we always do here?" Because if anybody raises their hand, they're the one only one in the audience that does and everybody else feels stupid. Make sure the question is phrased in a way that is neutral enough so that it feels like nothing to raise one's hand when they want to.


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