Know Your Audience Essay

958 Words Dec 21st, 2012 4 Pages
Perhaps you've given a few presentations but felt frustrated with the result, or you're thinking of being a presenter but may not know where to start. What seasoned speakers know is this - it's all about the audience, not you. How do you prepare efficiently while keeping your audience's needs in mind. (Gilman, S. 2012).
You should know at least the size, age, and education and experience of your group before you prepare your talk. One way to do this is ask your host or simply ask the audience some questions before you start. Will you be talking to a group of five, 50, or 500? This may not impact what you say, but it may impact how you say it and what you bring with you. A hands-on demonstration planned for a group of five will not work
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It is important to know what the audience is really expecting to get out of your talk. You may be very surprised with the answers if you just ask. If they are happy to listen and learn from you, but they end up buying from your competitor, you did not help your cause very much.
Audience may not have first-hand experience with your topic, but they may have strong opinions, and possibly not positive ones. It is human nature to form strong opinions, even if you do not really have any first-hand experience. Ask the right questions up front to find out what people think as opposed to what they know (Gruhn, P. 2009).
You might think you were called in to present about your wonderful solution. But what if they really have people internally who are violently opposed to it, and they just want to gather further information against your proposal? Have you even checked? It might be difficult to determine if this is the case, but it is worth checking.
If they do not have experience or an opinion, they might have attitude about your topic. You might work for a company known for an expensive high-quality product or service that you usually sell by showing lower total lifecycle costs. However, the prospect may have an ingrained company culture that mandates buying everything based on the lowest initial purchase price. Your philosophies are at opposite ends of the spectrum. You must ask questions and find out

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