Sunday, August 02, 2009

The ABC's of Public Speaking - U is for Understanding

U is for Understanding

When giving a talk to an audience it is important that you understand what the people in the chairs are expecting to hear from the speaker. If you get up and deliver a genre of presentation that is not in line with what the people signed up for, they will not be in sync with your from the start.

Many professionals are so nervous about delivering a presentation that they spend all of their time thinking about themselves. They devote time to the flow of the words, the creation of the slides, and their own delivery while forgetting about the needs of the audience.

Sitting in a meeting and listening to a presentation is a commitment. Nobody enjoys being stuck hearing someone who is going through the motions of speaking, but who clearly has no concern for the audience. If you do not have an understanding of the audience, they will see you as a fraud or a wast of time.

People gather for many reasons. Groups that invite speakers are made up of different types of people with a variety of backgrounds. Speakers are often invited to educate, entertain, motivate, convince, inspire, provoke, sell, inform, etc...

Before you accept an offer to speak, ask about the make up of the audience. Age, gender, occupations, backgrounds, job titles, purpose of the group, and the expectations of the talk are part of the information you need to prepare. While many people who speak occasionally have a standard speech that they give, you must be sure that you customize your remarks to the demographics and needs of the individual audience.

The more you understand about who will be hearing you speak, the better you can tailor your presentation to create a connection with the group. Think about those who will sit in the uncomfortable chairs and make them the priority.

Have A Great Day.


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