Know Your Audience
We're going to now move into this idea of knowing your audience. We have a prep list, actually. So if you're watching, you can download this prep list, and it's a list that we have accumulated that we give to our clients that has, I have one right here, that goes through a helpful handy dandy checklist that you can actually use every time before you present. And we gave this to our audience in advance just so they could look it over and think about what are some of the things that they notice, what are some of the things they feel most useful to them. We've broken it up into three sections. The first one is prepare yourself, so this goes into some of the things we've talked about in our other classes that talk about how to get ready physically, vocally and mentally. And they actually mirror some of the actual exercises that we've done just to help us, a reminder, and also a catalyst to encourage you to keep doing the work. Everything we do is wonderful but it doesn't matter if you're n...
ot practicing it and using it. So it's a nice reminder for you, these are the specific ways that we help you get warmed up and you can remind yourself to implement them. The next section is this, how we know our audience. Really getting to know your audience and it has some questions for you to ask yourself. Prepare for who, what and where. And then the final section is prepare your presentation. And it gives you some tips for how to get ready and how to really be prepared and questions that sometimes we forget that we are even allowed to ask. There are some things that we wonder about and we don't know that we are empowered as a speaker or as a presenter to ask those questions. Audience, we ask you to look through this list and find a couple, one or two spots that you thought were really helpful or things that you wanted to share and point out for us and for the audience. What were some of those points that you discovered? Yeah, Arina?
One of the points that I didn't think before but I see that's a very important reminder is the level of understanding of the audience that I will be presenting and how I should accommodate and adjust my presentation and vocabulary to make it more understandable and enable the audience to resonate with my presentation.
Yeah, and it does. It's something that we sort of innately, maybe assume or understand, but--
It's something that's not the first thing that you think about when you are preparing yourself. You think what you're going to give, you have things, the way you are used to give the presentation, you think of the technology, you think of the venue, you think of all different thing, but that is which might be one of the essential things to think about. And it's not on the checklist.
No, and sometimes we can, are you saying that's not on the checklist?
No, it's normally it's not on it.
It is, it's normally on our own checklist.
I'm glad that it is here.
It's literally on that checklist.
It's literally on it. Thank you. I think, oh I left that out? That seems so important. And one of the reason we want you to ask that question is that that's one of things we've talked about in other classes is how are we going to adapt? What story might we need to tell? How might we need to build through stimuli and metaphors, those connections for people. So asking who is this audience can really prepare us for what comes next. Were there other items on the checklist? Oh yeah, Jonathan.
I know New York, I need New York. These tongue twisters, I've never really done them before. But it just seems so smart because if you talk for 20 minutes you're gonna slip up at some point and to practice really hard combinations before is like being ready for that.
Yeah, it's really setting yourself up for success. It's not going to hurt you to do it. There's no, the cost-benefit, there's only benefit, right? So it really is worth it. What were you gonna say?
Oh I was gonna say that's another bonus material people can download. It's from another class, but yeah, the tongue twisters are great and I always use a lot of sports analogies and metaphors but this particular one is it's the equivalent of the baseball player in the on-deck circle, either swinging two bats or putting the little like, heavy donut on their bat. They're making it harder than it has to be, so when they get up there, they can hit a little bit quicker, they have a little bit better bat speed, and I think that that, that tongue twisters are kind of the equivalent of that but just for articulation and diction.
Absolutely. Were there any other? Oh, Alfa.
I think what stood out for me is what time do you present and more importantly, I mean certainly I've thought about that but how does that fit in to the flow of the rest of the day? What has been presented before, what might be presented afterward, at least a little bit of information about that as it fits in with the knowing the audience better. Because I think it's important to be able to pick up on things or address things that may have been assumed from prior presentations.
Right, or even knowing what else the audience has been through. Have they been sitting for two hours just listening? So having that information and then knowing, oh maybe I need to get them up to do the shake out that we've done in our other classes. Maybe we need to get them up to do something, or I need to know how to engage with them in a different way to reactivate that interest. Absolutely, thanks for putting that out. Heidi, you had your hand up a moment ago?
I was trying to say, I agree with Alfa, but I was also thinking I do a lot of introductions of speakers, and sometimes adding a little bit, repeating what they said, let's thanks Sammy for saying this and introducing that and then bringing in the second speaker, it really makes a difference.
I love when we are adding, that kind of key note or the MC, I guess it is that's holding everyone together, has those reference points. 'Cause it really does tie the day together for me and knowing that they were present and listening also feels important if I'm one of the speakers, to know that someone, that that person is paying attention. They're really there with me, and that they're helping to draw the thread for the entire audience. It's really powerful. Any last ones before we move on?
Or, are there, oh you have one.
Just as far as preparation is concerned, I like the, I don't have the toothache, thing. Just to keep in mind that things are still going well in your life, in your day, or just in general and go in there with a positive vibe or energy.
Right, and that I don't have a toothache is an exercise we did in one of our other classes to help us get prepared and get our mind in the right head space. What were you gonna say?
Oh, I was gonna ask is there anything missing from the checklist that comes from your process and experience that would be beneficial for the people in the room and maybe some people that are watching at home to learn? Yeah, and I'll write them up here.
I sometimes like to double check the demographics in the audience, so I'll ask a couple hand raise questions at the beginning of a talk or sometimes I'll incorporate a warmup if I know they've been sitting, kinda like you said, Kimberly, but some kind of, how many product managers are in the room, how many designers are in the room, raise your hand, or has anybody been through this. Raise your hand if you've been through this. And then I know, is what I'm saying actually hitting with them, both at the beginning of the talk and then sometimes in the middle or later in the talk I wanna ask questions of the audience to see if it actually, if they share that experience, or if I want a data point so I know them better.
I think one of the, on the checklist, one of the items is sort of knowing your audience in that way, like who are you talking to. And sometimes we can't get accurate information about who we're talking to, so that's a great way to inform, I wanna ask that question upfront because I may need to adapt on the fly and think about how I'm gonna talk about these things 'cause it isn't who I thought it was gonna be. So that's why we want you to kind of go through, ask these questions of yourself so that you really feel as empowered as possible, and as prepared as you possibly can be to ask these questions and to build your talk so that you feel successful.
You have one, Jonathan?
Microphones. And so, a lot of times, I will be leading other people and they don't really know how to use a microphone. So really help them to understand how close to hold a microphone, have enough microphones to pass around.
Right, if you, and you're saying if you're the person who's sort of that touch point for them, that leader for them, is that right?
Yeah, and people might be very good speakers, but they're not really used to, if it's a big event, you really need a proper microphone.
Absolutely. And one of the things I like to do when I'm the person who is in charge of those things is send someone a little checklist like this or a little cheat sheet, of hey we're gonna have handheld microphones, here are things that you should know about that. So they come in with a little front-loaded information but it would be so wonderful if you know that you're the person who is the MC or holding those things together, to think about what do those people that we're supporting need so that they could fill out this checklist successfully. I love that. Should we keep going?
I was just gonna say, you might talk about this later, I don't know if we do Q&A, but just during Q&A, I like to do that same thing that you told us earlier which is just repeat their question as you heard it to make sure you understand it and it gives you a second to think about it. And also it lets the rest of the audience hear the question because sometimes someone will not speak into the mic very well and you might hear it as the speaker but someone in the back of the audience might not hear it. It's like good for you, but it's also good for the audience if you repeat their question.
It's another way to do that reflection that we were doing in the earlier workshop to make sure I heard the question. Because sometimes people ask a question and they ask like five questions, or it's a very long winded question, so sometimes you're repeating back in a shortened way. It's also a wonderful opportunity to reflect and make sure, here's what I heard. Is this right? I love that idea. Great, let's keep going. We have so many wonderful things to do in this class. Thank you for looking over that list and for sharing what matter to you and also what you think might be valuable for other people to consider.