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Meet The Audience

 

Techniques Public speaking > Preparing Yourself > Meet The Audience

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

If you can, say hello to and chat with members of your audience before you stand up and speak to them.

If you have not met the people beforehand, get there early to catch arrivals so you can spend time with them. Also try to get around them in breaks or even saying hello as people come into the room. Introduce yourself and ask for some details on them. You can also ask what they are looking for or why they have come to the talk.

Example

A speaker at at conference mingles with the crowd in breaks before her presentation, chatting with a range of people, asking questions such as 'what brings you here' and 'what are you working on at the moment'. This helps her relax and also gives her a bit more information that she can weave into her presentation.

Discussion

When you meet people you might have previously feared in some way, you almost always find that they are quite decent and very human, with their own concerns and issues. If you know and appreciate them, then speaking to them is more like speaking to friends than to faceless judges.

Meeting the people also shows them that you are human and quite a pleasant person, which will also make them less judgmental.

Knowing your audience is also important in research for the presentation. Speaking with them before the presentation can be used to check that your understanding of them is correct and maybe give you time in which a few corrections can be made.

See also

Know Your Audience, Stakeholders in Change

 

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