How to Relate to Your Audience

You are giving a speech to a group who has come along to listen to you. How can you make your speech more relevant to them? How can you make an impact on their lives by ensuring you speak to them on a level that is pertinent to their wants and needs? It’s not as difficult as it sounds, you just need to do a bit of research before hand and target your speech accordingly. Also you need to be prepared to interact with your audience and build a rapport with them.

1. Find out what you can about the audience before your presentation. Asking the organizers to give you some demographics of the people attending can do this. For example, if it is a business presentation some of the things you may want to know include: type of business, how many people are attending, organizations they come from, male to female ratio, how long have they been in the business, and so on. If you are presenting a speech as an after-dinner speaker you will want to know what the dinner is in aid of. If it is a sports dinner you will need to focus your presentation on your sporting life. If you find out about your audience before your write your speech you can target your talk appropriately and let the audience know what benefits they will get from listening to you.

2. If you are speaking as an expert in a particular field, your audience will be there because they have an interest in that field. You can relate to your audience in this speaking situation by offering them a solution to problems they may be facing. You may even ask the organizers what the participants hope to gain from your presentation. With this type of specifics you can really present relevant information to your audience.

3. Relate your speech with examples and stories that are relevant to the audience. If you are speaking at a quilting conference, relate stories of your quilting successes (and failures) so you will appear more in touch with your audience.

4. Use conversational style speech for all presentations. To effectively relate to your audience, you must not put yourself ‘above’ them.

5. Interact with your audience, whether it is during or after your presentation. Workshops and seminar presentations can be sprinkled with audience participant activities. Speeches where you are calling your audience to action can use activities, even if it is only vocal responses to passion-driven questions.
If your audience feels a part of what you are doing, they are more likely to relate to you and take home your message.