Be a better speaker: see yourself as the audience sees you
Communication goes so far beyond words – spoken or written. When we communicate, we do so with every single atom in our bodies.
Everything about us is sending out messages, and receiving messages. And our audiences are doing the same. If you want to convince any audience, no matter how big or small, you need to reach them at every level… intellectual, emotional and physical.
But how well do you know your audience? Basic research will give you basic demographic information – age, gender, occupation.
That’s a good step towards communicating with them on an intellectual level. You know how to choose your vocabulary and how to pitch your arguments.
But how do you reach the audience on a much deeper level? What do you know about their feelings? Their emotions? What do they need from you, and what will they take from you, on a non-verbal level?
You need to put yourself in their shoes. See with their eyes. Feel what they’re feeling. You won’t know exactly how they feel, see or think. But if you imagine you are in the audience, rather than on the stage, you’ll have an idea.
What do they want from you? What’s likely to get in the way of them receiving your message? What barriers have to be broken down before they can accept that message?
This takes you beyond the obvious… beyond the event planner telling you there are 100 people in the audience, 70% women, mostly high-income, high-achievers.
By imagining what the audience is feeling or thinking, you take a step towards building a connection to them. This is called empathy. You begin to understand them at a deeper level.
They will sense that you are really reaching out to them. You will build a bridge, and a relationship, that will ensure your message has the best chance of successful delivery to a receptive audience.