Previously in another nugget, we wrote about doing an audience analysis on a new group of listeners. What about doing this same analysis on your monthly business meeting which you always speak at? Now analyzing your audience is always good. However if you know your audience, or more importantly an audience already knows you, you have different problems.
For example, what are you going to do or say differently to keep your audience excited and interested in hearing what you have to say? Many of us fall into a rut with how we say something. That is alright with brand new audiences but not with a group that hears you every month. We also tend to present the same basic way every time. What new techniques can we learn to have our audience look at our material from a different perspective?
Analyzing your audience whether known or unknown, is always good. It just has to be thought of differently
How do you take the ideas that are free floating in your mind and turn them into a solid well-constructed speech? Simple…the Post-It note.
I like to take my ideas and write them on individual Post-It notes and then put these notes on a wall. I make sure that there is only one idea per Post-It note. I go one step further by putting my major ideas on one colored note and the supporting ideas on different colors. I arrange the notes as if I was playing Solitaire with the major idea on top and the supporting ideas underneath.
After brainstorming for a while, I step back and just spend time looking at how everything flows. I can then rearrange, delete or add ideas to make the speech flow smoothly and with a clear purpose. Of course the length of the speech dictates the number of ideas that can be used.
The Post-It note, a speaker’s salvation.
When you look at your audience, you must ask yourself, “What is important to them? What do they really need to know?” An audience will always be more concerned with what they want and need to know and not what you want to tell them.
It is a bit of our own ego that can cause us the most problems. We think that our content and methods are just what everyone needs. And the problem is that we just haven’t made it clear enough to everyone. We think if we just say it more powerfully or speak longer than everyone will understand.
This is where having advisors who will tell us what we need to hear and not what we want to hear are important. It is also important to be watching and listening to your audience reactions to help gauge how effective your message is.
Your audience always talks to you, you just have to listen!