Your Public Speaking Audience

Who is Your Audience? How Can You Reach Them?

Your public speaking audience can better be served if you know a few basic things about them. You will need to learn a number of techniques and speaking styles to better reach them. To focus on those who will be listening, here are some key points to consider.

What is the make up and backgrounds of the audience?
What are the interests of those listening?
What keeps them awake at night?

In preparation for reaching the public speaking audience, here some additional considerations...

How do people listen when hearing a speech?
What are the learning style preferences?
What are the perception preferences of the listeners?
How can you attain rapport with your listeners?

The Public Speaking Audience

Your public speaking audience consists of the people who share in or participate in the experience or encounter of the presentation put on by a presenter.

The presentation in public speaking could include but is not limited to Power Point, Digital Media Presentations, Audio-visual presentations and a speaker direct address.

Participation may range from covert to overt involvement.

Audience Participation

Participation may include...

Observation with no input
Hand raising
Verbal Participation to Open and Closed Questions from Presenter
Modest clapping
Question and comments from those listening to the Presenter
Reception and Criticism

To master public speaking it is necessary to understand some generalities and some specifics about those who will be listening. Reaching the those who will be your listeners requires knowing who they are, what their unique needs are and meeting those needs.

Public Speaking and Listening looks at the first aspect of meeting the audience needs.

Audience-Centered Approach includes considering the backgrounds of those listening. These would include

Interest Level
Cultural Background

How will you prepare to meet and exceed the needs of these personality traits of the listeners? As an audience-focused public speaker, you will need to understand and be able to reach their unique needs.

One way to meet these needs is to understand the listeners mind, perceptual modes and rapport.

Icebreakers are another way to connect with listeners.

The Audience Mind is a look at how the human mind participates in the process of taking in information. What can you do to best reach the mind of those in attendance? This applies to speaking to one as well as to groups.

Perceptual Modes are the different ways people perceive what is being communicated. Do you know what the different modes of perception are? Do you know how to reach them with the way you speak?

Rapport is a vital skill. Do you know how to use it as a skill to best reach and connect with those who are listening to your message? Do you know how to develop this ability?

Do your audiences approve or disapprove of policies or approach? Would you like them to vote on a course of action in real time? How about enlivening employee and staff meetings through reward-based team competition? Would you like an audience response polling system? An audience response system will make these and more possible.

Next consider...who is going to be listening to what you say?

The Public Speaking Audience divided into categories.


Is it going to be children, teens (also known as young adults or young or youth audiences), middle aged or elderly?

Young-audiences have unique needs for public speakers to address. Do you know the requirements to command the attention of group of young people? If you do just one thing you will increase the effectiveness of your public speaking when it is to our youth.

Important note...Do not speak in the language of popular culture. The meanings can change geographically. This includes phrases that might otherwise seem harmless. Do you know what an Emo is? Your youth listeners do and you should too.

Some if not many of their expressions can have obscene meanings if used inappropriately. Ask any young one in their late teens what 'hooking up' means.

Adult-Audience's have a different need to be met. Do you know the uniquely different requirements of speaking to a group of adults? Do you know how to meet this need?

The Key to Meeting the Six Needs

Speaking to those Mature in Age has additional needs to be met above and beyond those of adult listeners? Do you know what they are? Do you know how to provide them with what they need? Be assured, you will speak to them sooner or later.

Socio-economic Background

The Professed Values Argument is also important to consider.

Cultrual Diversity in the Classroom for public speakers.

Cultrual Diversity Definition for public speaking.

Cultural Diversity in Nursing looks at the relationship of nursing and public speaking in relationship to the cultural difference in health care.

Learning Cultural Diversity in Nursing when your audience is just one or a few.

Listening Style

Discover the Difference between Hearing and Listening

Learn The Listening Styles of those you speak to. Listening styles, yes. Everyone has different ways they listen. Learn more about these differences to enhance your speaking. This applies to speaking to one or speaking to one-thousand people.

Speak to the Listening Style of those who will hear you speak. Once you know the ways people listen, learn how to reach their style of listening with the words used in your public speaking.

This is really just the beginning of the subject. However, it will not be finished here. It will be finished within your competence.

The goal of Speechmastery is conscious competence in your ability to speak to and reach those who will be listening to your message.

Each and every one of your listeners in your public speaking audience will be unique. Each will teach you something new. Each will move you toward mastery of public speaking. Home

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Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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