To be audience-centered, you should begin and end with them. Discover who they are. If possible, research particular persons; otherwise, grasp the wider demographics. Find out what their hopes, interests, anxieties, and desires are. Then work into your presentation based on these factors.
An audience-centered speaker pays attention to his or her listeners, understands their needs and concerns, and provides information that helps them reach their goals. He or she does not talk down to them or ignore those who aren't paying attention. Rather, the speaker focuses his or her presentation on those individuals in order to help them understand complex ideas or processes better.
Some speakers focus too much on themselves and their opinions instead of their audiences. This can happen if they try to win over everyone with a loud voice or extensive use of visual aids. It can also occur if they try to cover every topic under the sun or force their opinions on others. These types of speakers may have difficulty reaching some people due to noise pollution or personal bias.
Other speakers focus on one specific group in their presentations and tend to repeat certain topics or points with members of that audience in mind. For example, an executive might discuss strategic planning with his or her staff before presenting it to upper management as a way of showing that he or she has thought deeply about how their department works and what will improve it.
How to be audience-focused With whom are you conversing? What am I hoping they will do, believe, or know? What is the most efficient strategy for me to write and deliver my speech in order to achieve my goal? Consider the audience's background and interests, degree of expertise, and attitudes regarding your issue in preparation. Where can I find out more about them?
It means paying attention to who is listening to your speech and what they want to hear. This will help you structure your speech so that it engages its audience. You should also consider their background and interests, as these things will affect how you talk about your topic (Bridges, 2012).
For example, if you were talking at a university campus presentation, you would need to make sure that any references you made to students attending or working at this place would interest them. If you aren't interested in what happens on campus, why should they be? You would also need to think about whether there were any events happening on the day you are speaking, as this would inform your choice of venue (for example, if there was a protest outside a nearby building, this might influence your decision to hold your speech there).
Finally, if you are talking at a business conference, you would like your audience to leave the session with ideas put forward by you but also with questions unanswered.
The process of identifying an audience and tailoring a speech to their interests, degree of comprehension, attitudes, and beliefs is known as audience analysis. Taking an audience-centered approach is vital since a speaker's efficacy will improve if the presentation is designed and performed properly. A speaker who ignores or fails to consider an audience cannot be expected to be effective.
In addition, speakers must remember that not every person in the audience will need or want what they have to offer. It is therefore essential that each presentation include some form of identification mechanism, such as a title slide, which allows the speaker to address different groups within the audience. This way, no one will be left out of the conversation.
An audience-centered approach also ensures that messages are received by those who need to hear them most. This can be accomplished by focusing on relevant topics that pertain to specific audience members. For example, if one were giving a presentation about saving money while traveling, then explaining ways to avoid overpaying for expensive items such as food and transportation would be appropriate. Such topics would appeal to more people than simply stating that one should only spend what one has too, since this message would be generic and could apply to anyone listening.
Additionally, speakers should try to understand how different parts of the audience will best receive messages.