Posted by: George E Burney | April 24, 2012

Public Speaking – How To Forge A Connection With Your Audience

Analyzing your audience is the first step in connecting with its members. Like a person who wants to run alongside another, you have to first ascertain what direction they’re going in. Then, it’s easy to follow a course parallel to theirs.

In making an analysis of an audience, your goal is to uncover, to the extent possible, their fears, concerns, interests, beliefs, desires, etc. Once you have done this, you’re in a better position to “speak their language.”

When preparing, tailor your presentation to address matters as they see them. Begin it by mentioning points on which you and they agree. That serves as your base or foundation, and you can build on that.

Early on, and throughout your presentation, discuss matters from their vantage point, and not yours. Show how what you say addresses their issues. Otherwise, why should they seriously consider what you have to say?

To introduce new ideas, build a logical, reasonable bridge between what they already accept and this new idea. Show how what they already know and believe, when expanded upon, leads to this new idea. In a sense, it’s like extrapolation: If this, that and the other are all true, then it follows that such and such must also be true!

By using stories, illustrations, and examples, enlist the power of their emotions to assist you. Help them to want to agree with you, and they will find your presentation to be powerful and persuasive.

When you speak the language of the audience, and from start to finish, present matters in a way that uses and builds on what they already think, you will connect with your audience and maintain that connection throughout your entire presentation.

Copyright 2012 by George Burney and betterpublicspeaking


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