Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Public Speaking Audience Tips

You can't catch many fish by using food you like for the bait. You must give them what they like. You must absolutely, positively know your audience.

You should know what the members of the audience have in common (interests, enemies, competitors, etc.). You should know what the hot topic of conversation is, but be sure they are joking about it themselves. It may be too hot. You should know the restaurants where they eat, the name of their newsletter, how much money they make, the name and record of the local sports teams, etc., etc., etc. The more you know about the audience, the better job you will do. Your goal should be to make that audience know that the presentation they are witnessing was created specifically for them.

If you don't present to the same audience all the time, you must have a method for getting this information. Most NO ZZZZZs presenters use some form of pre-program questionnaire which is sent out well in advance of their program. I got the basis for mine from Dottie Walters at Walters International Speakers Bureau. I made some slight changes to suit my presentation style and I keep adding and deleting questions to tweak it to perfection.

Your conversations with the program coordinator will give you some of the information you need. You should fill in as many of the blanks as you can before you send out the questionnaire to save the program coordinator some work. This also proves you were paying attention to what he or she said.

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