February 18, 2008

Tough topics, tough audiences

This seems to be the month to talk about difficult audiences. I came across the topic on two other public speaking blogs, so I decided to post a link to my own two cents.

Based on my presentation last month to UCSB's Rape Prevention Education Program's peer educators, I wrote an article for my January newsletter about presenting difficult topics, which often results in difficult audiences, or at least difficult audience members.

We've all faced a difficult audience member at one time or another, but presenting on difficult topics (like domestic violence, or homophobia, or sexual harassment, or other subjects that bring out people's discomfort and defensiveness) raises the possibility of a resistant audience to a whole new level.

Meet them where they are, understand where they're coming from and what their needs are, and they will respond in a positive way.

Most important, never perceive your audience as the enemy or take their responses personally.

Read the article here. (And while you're there, why not subscribe?)

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