When you’re making a presentation, whether it’s to a group of 30 or a crowd of 3000, you want the audience to not just listen to you, but to engage with you in the course of your presentation. You want them to nod in agreement, raise their hands to ask a question or disagree, laugh at your jokes, clap in appreciation, and so on. It’s but natural. But to induce such reactions from your listeners, it is vital that you connect with them. To connect with your audience, you must first know them. One of the worst mistakes you could make in public speaking is assuming that your audience is like you and that they like and dislike the same things you do. That doesn’t happen in a family of 4, so how could it happen in an unrelated group of even 10 people? Individual people in an audience may have geographical and cultural biases in addition to personal preferences. With a little research, you will be able to know these preferences and biases and be careful while you make your presentation so as to avoid offending your audience. When you know what they care about – what their concerns are, what issues they face generally, what solutions they are seeking – then you will have a clear picture as to how you can talk to them; how to present your ideas to them, and how to convey that you can provide some resolution to their problems. You can use the appropriate tone, appropriate references, and appropriate level of humor. When an audience listens to a speech that is of value and relevance to them, they will be interested; they will listen and engage with you. Every speaker has a goal: the purpose of the presentation is to inform, exhort, persuade or entertain the audience. When you do your homework, and research about your audience, you will be able to achieve this goal. What you need to know about your audience apart from their prejudices and preferences, is their basic expectation from the speaker. You can ask the organizers for help; if you’re doing this yourself, then you already may have a target audience in mind. For example, if your presentation is intended to motivate middle aged women, well, you know exactly what the makeup of your audience is going to be. A shrewd public speaker will be able to gauge the mood and expectations of the audience within a few minutes of commencing the talk – from their initial reactions. Are they listening keenly, or growing restless? Are they just sitting passively or actively listening? Scan the audience as you speak for signs of the audience mood. Always have a backup plan. If your prepared speech is not being received well, you need to do something quick before a disaster occurs. Memorize a few funny incidents or jokes and narrate them at the right time for some comic relief. You can also try changing the method you’re delivering the presentation – you may have to switch from serious to fun or vice versa depending on the audience reactions. There are never any 100% foolproof methods guaranteed to ensure success in public speaking. However, these and other tips we can give you in our course can go a long way in boosting chances of your success. Register Now to Attend our Amplify Training Event, and become a master presenter!