Whenever you’re preparing a speech, it is necessary to know your audience thoroughly. After all, you deliver the speech to help your audience in one way or the other. It could be a speech to inform. It could be a speech to convince or influence your listeners. It could also be to entertain the audience. You cannot succeed unless you study the audience beforehand. We have chosen six most important parameters which will enable you to know your audience well enough. These are as follows:
- How many people will attend?
You need to know approximately how many people you’re going to address. A speech which is meant to be delivered to a small group of 10 people may not be valid, for example, for 40 people. When the no. is small, you have to be personal. This is not possible or feasible if you are speaking to a large crowd. Even the language you may use will have to be different for different groups.
- What is the gender composition of your audience?
It’s also necessary to know the gender composition of the audience. Treatment of your speech should be different for a group of male or female or both mixed males and females. Your message should crafted according the majority of the people you are going to address. The way you handle ladies only group may not be suitable if you’re addressing an all male crowd. Women and men react differently to various topics at most of the time.
- What is the purpose of the speech? Why you have been invited to speak?
The general attitude of your listeners should be known to you. This is particularly so when your objective of speech is to convince or persuade. Application of mind on the issue will provide you sufficient information about the reaction of audience. For example if you are addressing an uninformed group, you will have to be more detailed and rather basic in expression. Further, if you expect your audience to be more apathetic or against the subject, you will have to modify your speech accordingly. Such knowledge beforehand will also help you to determine the language and the method of delivery of your speech.
- What is the age group of the audience?
It’s equally necessary to know to which age group your audience belongs. Younger people will react in a certain way to a topic. It may be totally different from the response of elderly audience. If the crowd does not represent a particular age group and has both young and old, you have to write your speech accordingly.
- What is the educational qualifications in general of your audience?
It may also be required to know the formal education of your audience, generally speaking. When the audience is highly educated, they will look for a trainer to speak in their language. Undoubtedly, this will be quite different from the language you will use to address a group of people who may be doing well in life but whose qualifications are much lower. The objective of the speech will not be served if the listeners don’t understand the implications of the message involved.
- Is the audience composed of a specialised group? What is your qualification to address such specific group?
Whenever you are speaking to a group of people who specialize in one subject or the other you have to be sure of many things. Superficial knowledge of the subject will not work. Your definition of the topic should connect with the level of the specialized knowledge that this group may process. More of professional jargon may be expected from you, lest you appear to them too elementary. The language of the specialized group is best used as their own.
All the parameters detailed above will come in handy for formulating an approach which would be most suitable for the audience you are going address.
Thanks for reading!