Do you have a parental attitude toward your audience?

Speak Schmeak

If you're speaking to an organization, create an online survey asking questions about what your audience already knows and would like to know more about, and have your organizer share it via e-mail. If you don't have this luxury, for example, when you're speaking at a conference, you can get some basic demographics and data from the conference organizer about who's attending, and then make sure to chat up your audience members as they arrive.

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What's your audience's culture?

Speak Schmeak

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Santa Barbara Associates , an "old-boys' club for women" that was started almost 30 years ago as a place for women business owners and executives to network and socialize with like-minded members. Before the speaking engagement, I exchanged several e-mails with the organizer, to discern what their interests were in regard to public speaking and to make sure I was able to view the room setup in advance.

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Who's the boss? You are!

Speak Schmeak

Survey the organization I have two questionnaires: one is about the company in general and how my presentation fits into the overall theme of the conference or training, and the other is a questionnaire for individuals who will be attending my workshop, to find out what their public speaking needs are. These two questionnaires form the bulk of information I receive about a speaking engagement. Arrangements for your speaking engagement will not always go this smoothly.

2008 109

Who's the boss? You are!

Speak Schmeak

Survey the organization I have two questionnaires: one is about the company in general and how my presentation fits into the overall theme of the conference or training, and the other is a questionnaire for individuals who will be attending my workshop, to find out what their public speaking needs are. These two questionnaires form the bulk of information I receive about a speaking engagement. Arrangements for your speaking engagement will not always go this smoothly.

2008 100

Public speaking vs. death

Speak Schmeak

I've written before about most of these mistaken beliefs about public speaking, as they are major pet peeves of mine, but please make a special note of the first one in the article. Here's what she told me in an e-mail: "I have a standing offer to all my participants: Bring me a current, scientifically credible study showing that public speaking is the #1 fear and I'll give you $100. Public speaking is the #1 fear." Happy Monday!

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