The importance of knowing the audience
While it is not always possible to obtain information’s about the audience to which we will be communicating to when doing a public presentation, even when that opportunity is given to us, that task is still sometimes neglected.
Recorded videos for digital platforms such as different social media networks or websites allow, through digital advertising, to choose specific segments according to defined goals that can be applied.
Here, we can optimize the reach of our content according to certain targeting’s, such as:
- Professional activity;
- Location interest;
However, when doing a public presentation, we do not have that excellent digital support, and therefore, other solutions should be considered. In many cases, if the presentation is delivered to a small or medium sized audience, lets say of until 20 people, we should explore when possible who the participants are.
For bigger audiences of 50+ people, customization becomes extremely difficult. However, independently of the group size, there are essential aspects that we should respect to reach success:
- Modesty – create empathy with the public by using a clear language and explaining more complex concepts in the most simple way possible;
- Voice projection;
- Keep coherence;
After all, the most important is to. make ourselves understand and remember that people will come to see us on stage!
How to get to know the audience?
When I provided training about Media Training and Public Speaking in public and private universities, and in companies, I specifically requested information about the participants to the institutions where I did my presentation.
In this case, this was not a problem from the institution´s side, as there was an initial agreement between the institution and the students/employees that information could be shared and thus I could obtain important data about the participants, such professional activity and level of education.
In general terms, we can highlight some aspects about the audience that wants to participate in the specific session. This data will be important for us as trainers/speakers, and it will help to adjust the message that we want to transmit, such as:
If it is the responsibility of a third party to organize the event, we can ask for example if the participants can send an email previously, signing up with those information’s, so that the institution can then share the information with us as trainers. When the responsibility of organizing everything and we only have a space available, which happens for example in platforms such as meet up or. many other event management software’s (or even social media), we should contact every participant. individually to try and obtain these information’s.
The power of having this knowledge
Who does not remember that university or school teacher whose speech from the beginning until the end of the class was so complex that we would feel a total disconnection and also feel that we did not learn anything during the class?
And who does not remember exactly the opposite?
Of that extremely captivating teacher whose classes went flying and we would feel extremely motivated and eager to participate?
The impact that we have on the other person is very important and it is, without any doubt, what differentiates us and allows us to be remembered afterwards. It is on the details where we can make the difference and the public feels it, and therefore the study of each audience member will allow us to create a connection that will make our job easier. Considering that this study is possible, that will be ideal, but even when it is not possible to do it, remember:
- Of the unparalleled power of keeping a smile;
- Maintain simplicity
- Maintain humbleness and charisma.
And the rest? Let it flow.