2.1 The audience

Preparation

The audience

   

JUST

EMPATHIZE

As a speaker, you have to empathize with your audience. Don’t think: ‘What am I going to say? ‘But: ‘What do people want to hear, what do they come for, and what does the client want me to achieve?

Find out what the level of knowledge of your audience is. This will determine which examples or anecdotes you can tell to surprise your audience and which you cannot. If you are the specialist and you have eighteen years of experience in a specific field but not your audience, don’t keep throwing technical terms at them. Otherwise, you will lose the average listener after three minutes.

With phrases like “As you all know…” you have to be careful. You can sometimes hit your audience too high with these sentences. If part of the audience doesn’t know what you’re talking about, you’ve lost them. You can tell that immediately by the reduced concentration in the audience. The chance of someone getting up and saying, ‘No, I don’t know, could you explain?’ is practically out of the question. By the way, it would be nice if someone from the audience nicely asked this. It would keep the speaker sharp, and it could create an open atmosphere.

DON’T

UNDERESTIMATE

But don’t underestimate your audience either. If you explain to them what they have known for a long time, you can assume that they don’t take you seriously and aren’t interested in the rest of your speech either.