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When you are preparing for a speech, you probably have a certain goal in mind. You may want to inform them, persuade them, or show them how to do something, but those goals will not be reached if you do not know their interests, likes and dislikes. Learn everything you can about the people you’re speaking to before you speak to them. You will learn more about them while you speak. You’ll be able to sense their moods and whether or not they seem interested in what you are saying. Be ready to alter your speech to meet their needs and let them leave feeling positively about what you told them.

Your motivation in speech giving is to get satisfaction from expressing your ideas and getting recognition from the audience. In order to achieve this, you must give the audience something they are interested. For that, it is important to know what your audience is interested in, what their expectations are and even what mood they are in. You need to give them what they want to hear, not what you want to say.

You can find out about the audience by doing research before you speak, being aware of their interaction as you talk, and by making adjustments during the speech.

If you don’t know who you will be speaking to, make sure you ask. You can’t give the same speech to different people. You have to cater your speech to the type of audience you will have. You should consider the nature of the group, what they expect from you, what special interests they have, or prejudices you should be aware of.

It is important for you to gain rapport with your audience. If you find out about some of the names of important or key people in the audience, you can use them in your opening comments. This can make you feel like one of them, and gain rapport with the audience. Everyone likes a humorous comment about the boss, but make sure it’s not at their expense.

If you give speeches often, you may have several versions of a speech or presentation. Use your opening remarks and responses from the audience to give you an idea of the direction and their mood. If the audience seems in a light mood, perhaps you could insert jokes to keep their interest. If they seemed to be very serious about your topic, you go straight to the heart of the matter. You can usually tell if the audience is interested or if they are getting bored. Be prepared to alter your speech if necessary. You never want a bored audience. Sometimes, it’s necessary to just summarize things and thank your audience and sit down. It is better to shorten your speech than to go too long and bore people to tears. This is true in any speech. Know when to stop.

When you know what the audience wants and likes, what mood they’re in, and something about the audience, they will definitely be more interested in what you have to say. You may not be a great speaker, and may not have great subject matter, but if the audience can connect with you, they’ll listen. They’ll actually enjoy the speech, and you’ll enjoy giving it.

 


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