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Public Speaking Lesson on Inclusiveness: Relating to Every Person in Your Audience

February 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 128

As a developing speaker, one of the most important public speaking lessons you must learn in order to improve your presentation skills is inclusiveness, or how to relate to your audience members on a personal level. One of the greatest compliments an audience member can give you as a speaker is, "I felt you were speaking directly to me." Let's explore some of the ways you can make that happen.

Interestingly enough, it comes about through complete opposites: the most effective means of relating to every audience member is through both references specific to individuals and examples common to everyone.

Specific References

Even if your audience is huge, it is possible to find specific references to the various sectors within the group. That is why we, and all professional speakers, always ask a meeting organizer for detailed demographics of the audience. What is the age range and average age? How does the group break down in terms of professional function, e.g.) sales, policy, etc? What is the gender ratio? What is the geographic spread? Is there a significant ethnic component? What is the educational range? Is the "brass" in the audience?

All of these items offer you opportunities to tailor your talk to the group. You will probably touch them several times as you move through the different breakdowns. For example, you might touch thirty-year old accountant, Sue from Minnesota with a joke about accountants vs policy types, a reference to a magazine thirty-year old women read and an example of how people from winter states and countries are always prepared for anything.

The trick is to balance your examples to cover the range of people in each demographic breakdown.

Common Experiences

Perhaps, the easier route to inclusiveness is to rely on examples which encompass common experiences. Naturally, tightly knit groups such as political parties, associations, etc., will have their own in-house examples to which everyone will automatically relate.

For an audience of broader scope, topics like traffic, riding in elevators, line-ups of any kind, dealing with help desks, living with teenagers, the weather, winning an award or a lottery, and sunsets or rainbows are all great areas for developing signature stories which highlight important points in your speeches.

As I was thinking of examples for this article, it occurred to me that potentially frustrating situations seem to provide the most possibilities. While it may not be a positive commentary on our society, it does offer you a superb chance to show how people can make a positive out of a negative, just by how they approach the situation. On the other hand, you can use the positive common experiences to set a warm mood for speeches at anniversaries, reunions and 'thank you' events.

Always remember that every crowd is different. Each room you address is full of individuals, all with different perspectives and experiences. If you keep this public speaking lesson in mind, and try to relate to people as individuals rather than as a group, you'll be sure to leave a great impact.

Delva Rebin is part of a family of professional speakers. Collectively, Norm, Delva and Niki Rebin have spoken to, trained or coached over one million people. The biggest question they are asked is: "How can I control my public speaking fears?" To get the answer, visit here: http://www.calmingpublicspeakingnerves.com/sq/7199-50-tips-for-calming-your-public-speaking-nerves.

Source: EzineArticles
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