Public Speaking: Know Your Audience!


Public Speaking: Know Your Audience! – Part II

Have you read the Public Speaking: Overcome Your Fear? below is continues of the article before. Let’s discuss about Sun Tzu Quotes first:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Sun Tzu

The quote from the General Sun Tzu, famous for his Art of War strategies tells us that if we know enough about the enemy and ourselves, we will win our battles.

The same applies to public speaking—it is only when we have sufficient knowledge about our audience that we are able to connect and get our message across to them.

One way of connecting is to speak their language.

If your audience has no financial knowledge, and you have to talk about financial planning, using complicated lingo will throw them off. Instead, use simple, layman terms to get your point across.

Another way to connect is through the use of relevant examples.

Most people find it easier to understand your message if you use anecdotes or stories they can relate to, to illustrate or explain your points.

This not only keeps the speech interesting, it also holds the attention of your audience.

Know Your Audience

But before you can think of connecting with your audience, you must first know your audience. In fact, you must know as much about your audience before you even start preparing your speech!

Here are some key aspects you should know:

1. Their Age Group

An audience of 20-year-olds will generally have different preferences when it comes to food, music, clothes, and styles as compared to those in their 50’s.

Quoting a line from a Beatles song will have a much greater effect on 50-year-olds than it will on those in their 20’s.

2. Male/Female Ratio

It’s no secret that men and women generally communicate (and listen) differently. Men are more logical whereas women are more emotional.

To sum up, Selling a car to women may require you to emphasize on color and elegance rather than engine-capacity and fuel-efficiency for men.

3. Profession/Education

If you’re communicating with a group of CEO’s, you may want to keep your presentation short and precise, so as not to waste too much of their time.

However, when speaking to housewives or school children, you may speak about a few general topics before diving into your main message so you don’t come across as too serious.

4. Ethnic/Origin Backgrounds

People from different ethnic backgrounds speak, think and even eat differently. If you research and discover certain traits that will bring about an instant connection, not only will they listen to your message, they’ll also remember you!

5. Motivation: Why are they here?

Lastly, to be effective, you must know why they are part of the audience. Are they here to learn, have been forced to listen, or are just there to be entertained or pass their time? With this knowledge, you can prepare accordingly.

Getting Your Message Across

What distinguishes a great speaker from a mediocre one is not how well they communicate with a certain group of people; it is how well they are able to connect with different audiences.

And one of the most impressive and successful ways of doing so is to first know your audience, and secondly customize your communication to suit them.

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