Adjusting the Pitch of Your Message to Suit the Audience
Most people have the ability to hear, but when it comes to listening, very few people are intrinsically tuned to soak up information. Even the most inspiring of content fails to engage listeners if it’s not delivered properly. That’s why as a public speaker, adjusting the pitch and delivery of your message to match the audience is a must utilise technique.
So how can you tailor your messages to resonate deeply with your audience?
Emphasise your key message
In every presentation, there’s always a key message that the speaker attempts to highlight. That said, it’s all too easy for this message to get lost in the noise of other content. Before you hit the stage actively identify your key message, and ensure that it shines bright throughout your presentation.
Identify trigger words
Different audiences respond to different language styles, which means that a little tweaking can go a long way when it comes to maximising the impact of your content. For example, if you’re pitching to a corporate board, using industry buzz words will position you as an expert in the field.
An audience won’t necessarily retain everything you throw at them, but if you consciously repeat certain keywords, phrases and ideas they’re far more likely to process information. The more a person hears a fact, the more likely they are to accept, process and retain the information.
Call on audience participation
Deepen understanding and dynamically engage your audience by using this creative strategy that calls on listeners to verbally contribute. This will keep your audience on their toes, and ensure that their experience is meaningful, and memorable.
Use the KISS approach
A time tested technique, the KISS approach is a principle employed by high school teachers and high profile politicians alike. Short for Keep It Simple Stupid, the acronym reinforces the idea that the role of every public speaker is not just to inform, but also to entertain and engage.
Know your audience
Getting to know your audience before you deliver a presentation will empower you with the knowledge to predict how they’ll react to certain elements of your speech, as well as what kinds of questions they may ask. You can use this insight to maximise the impact of your content, and prepare in advance for any post-presentation queries they may throw at you.
Remember, most audience members are egocentric which means their key interests are with things that directly affect them, or their communities. Tap into this intrinsic egocentrism by finding a way to show your audience why they should pay attention to your content.
Don’t forget body language
Whatever the topic and whoever the audience, body language has a huge effect on the quality of your presentation. In this viral TED Talk Amy Cuddy explores how body language shapes who you are, and its role in not just public speaking, but day to day life.
Audiences are notoriously difficult to engage, but with the right techniques and a healthy dose of tailoring, you can present content that inspires, engages and deeply reverberates with any demographic.