Tailoring Your Message To Your Audience: Making Your Message Match The Audience Needs by Peter Dhu

One of the most important public speaking skills you can develop is the ability to tailor your message to your audience. Whether you are delivering a keynote speech, a sales presentation, a project update, or a training session, understanding your audience’s needs, interests, and motivations can make all the difference in the world. By tailoring your message to your audience, you can ensure that your message resonates with them and has the greatest impact.

The reverse is when you deliver, in your mind, a powerful and important message and the audience thinks “so what, this doesn’t apply to me”. This mismatch of message and audience expectations can destroy any presentation.

The importance of understanding your public speaking audience

In order to tailor your message to your audience, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of who they are, what their interests and needs are, and what motivates them. This information will help you craft a message that resonates with them and speaks to their specific needs.

Without this understanding, you risk delivering a message that falls flat or misses the mark entirely.

The metaphor I use in my public speaking workshops is “walk a mile in your audience’s footsteps before you talk to them”.

How to cater to the audience’s needs

Catering to the audience’s needs means matching the content of your message to their specific interests, challenges, and motivations. This can be achieved by using specific examples and anecdotes that resonate with the audience, using language that is familiar and accessible, and addressing any objections or concerns they may have.

For example, if you are delivering a speech to a group of entrepreneurs, you might use examples of successful entrepreneurs who overcame challenges and achieved great success.

A key step in this process of matching you audience needs is to ask yourself “What is in it for them”. If you solve their problem or help them achieve their goals, they will love you.

Importance of using appropriate examples during public speaking

Using appropriate examples and anecdotes that are relevant to your audience is key to tailoring your message effectively. These examples should be engaging, memorable, and help illustrate your public speaking message in a way that resonates with your audience.

Avoid using technical jargon or language that may be unfamiliar to your audience. Instead, use language that is clear and easy to understand. This will help ensure that your message is received and understood by your audience.

I work extensively with the mining and resource sector, so a lot of engineers and technical people. I also work with the health and disability sector, so a lot of nurses, social workers, and support workers. The examples that I use for the mining sector do not work with the health and disability sector and I need different examples for the health and disability sector. “Different folks need different strokes.”

Addressing the audience’s challenges

Understanding and addressing the challenges your audience faces is another important aspect of tailoring your message. By acknowledging these objections and concerns and providing solutions that are tailored to your audience’s specific needs, you can demonstrate that you understand their situation and are able to provide solutions that are relevant and effective for them. Always make it about them and for them.

In conclusion, tailoring your message to your audience is a crucial aspect of effective public speaking. By understanding their needs, interests, and motivations, and adapting your message accordingly, you can ensure that your message resonates with your audience and has the greatest impact.

Remember, the goal is not just to deliver a message, but to deliver a message that inspires, informs, and motivates your audience to take action. So, take the time to understand your audience, cater to their needs, and deliver a message that truly speaks to them.

Interested in improving your public speaking skills? Join Peter at the Winning Presentation Skills on October 23rd in Perth. Limited seats available, so register now!

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