Ole the Viking
How many Audiences are in your Audience?
Back at Augustana College tonight, this time speaking to a smaller crowd of about one hundred 5th and 6th graders about the opportunity for them to go to France and the UK next year.
Speaking to a younger audience (and their parents) carries with it unique challenges. First, younger students are excitable - they aren't yet "too cool" to be excited, and that works in my favor as a speaker telling them about the wonderful things they will get to do. Second, parents of younger students have their guard up higher, and need me to go far beyond excitement, and cover value and safety to reassure them they are making a good decision to send their 10, 11 or 12 year old over an ocean to Western Europe.
Balance is crucial - too much energy and the parents turn off, too much seriousness, the kids turn off.
Whether its kids and adults, employees and upper management, or men and women - understanding the needs of the audience is essential when you craft your message. If you don't use language, stories, images, and motivating statements directed at each group in your audience, you'll lose them - and losing part of your audience can affect the whole.
Scour the messages you deliver for audience-specific moments. Are your stories directed more at one group than the other? Are you effectively targeting those who are your potential customers? People who control the purse strings? Are you using logical and emotional strategies? When you tell a story, are you painting the picture with visuals, audio cues, tactile markers, taste examples, and maybe even a smell that anchors the moment?
Every audience member is important - one or two audience members who disconnect from your presentation can infect the entire room with disinterest and distraction.
What parts of your presentations can you tweak to ensure you effectively Speak & Deliver, to ALL parts of your audience?