April 7, 2007

Do you know your audience?

Recently I was reading a post about a cooking class, on one of the many food blogs I partake in, and came across this paragraph:

"The teacher, Gabriella, was very knowledgeable and passionate about macrobiotics, but I'm afraid her presentation may have been hard to follow for people who didn't have a basic knowledge of that way of eating (I noticed the whole yin and yang thing was confusing for most people).

I think after you've been living a particular type of lifestyle for many years, it often becomes hard to go back to the mindset you had when you were first learning to better understand the types of questions people had – and offer more specific answers."

This is a perfect example of not paying attention to the audience's needs, and it also demonstrates that, no matter what kind of public speaking you're doing, you still need to research your audience.

Many speakers are so knowledgeable about their topic that they forget that their audience might need very basic information. This is also where a lot of industry jargon gets thrown around, further adding to audience confusion.

Always do your research - find out what the audience already knows, so you can prepare yourself to meet them where they are.

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