How to Tailor Your Speech to the Attendees
To deliver a speech successfully, you need to come across in a convincing yet respectful manner to your audience. By creating a connection with your attendees, you are not merely coming across as a sales agent of your topic, but as a knowledgeable leader who values their interests, needs and requirements and who is there to help and inform.
Know Your Audience
Building a successful connection with your audience requires a good deal of analysis of the attendees – make sure you know who you’re talking to.
To do this, begin with a quick, yet somewhat detailed, discovery about what their interests are. This gathering of information should help you make your speech more informative and captivating.
To make this process more efficient, you should, where possible, ask the organiser of the event about the type of crowd you will be addressing. If time permits, you could even conduct a few quick, informal phone interviews to gauge people’s expectations.
By discovering your attendees’ aims, goals and hopes for the speech, you can tailor your speech accordingly, and gain and maintain their attention throughout
Watch Your Words
Consider using inclusive pronouns, such as ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘us’, rather than ‘you’ and ‘your’. By using words suggestive of inclusivity, you are, first and foremost, coming across as caring and understanding of your attendees’ needs – as well as gathering everyone on the same side, facing the same end-goal.
If you choose to use exclusionary terms you are inviting your audience to feel affronted and solitary. The right words can harness the power of the collective to your advantage, helping you accomplish more in relation to the goal of your speech.
Keeping your speech relevant with thorough, sound research and reference to current world events will also help to avoid a sense of mediocrity.
Now is the Time
If the topic permits, try to include constant references to the present, so as to encourage your attendees in thinking about their challenges and requirements right now. By finding a link between your attendees’ needs right now and the points you raise, you can make time to address the issues that pop up as your speech unfolds.
Connect to Affect
When you successfully create a connection in this manner, you are inviting your audience to eliminate hesitation and to engage with you – hopefully, they will feel motivated to discuss their concerns and to outline things from their point of view.
If your speech is continuously inclusive of your audience, and you are always keeping them at the very forefront of what you are discussing, then you are sure to receive a good degree of appreciation and have a real impact.