How To Prepare An Audience-Centred Speech (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

While delivering a speech, it is important to make it interesting and relatable for the audience to ensure the content delivery is effective. For this, it is important to understand the listeners and identify their interests and traits. If you are interested in delivering such a speech that is relatable to your listeners and viewers, learning more about it can ensure you do it successfully. In this article, we discuss what an audience-centred speech is, explore the steps of creating such a presentation and look at some tips that can help you improve your speech delivery.

What Is An Audience-Centred Speech?

An audience-centred speech is a type of content delivery method where you create your presentation focussing on the needs or expectations of the audience. Such speeches help the audience connect with the content more easily. To create and deliver these speeches, it is essential for the speaker to understand the people they address, identify their personality traits, learn about their interests and also to observe their behaviour. Speakers can research their listeners thoroughly to determine these characteristics and their perspectives to convey the message through their presentation successfully.

How To Make An Audience-Centred Speech

Here are some steps that you can follow to create an audience-focused presentation:

1. Understand your audience

The first step while creating a speech focused on an audience is to understand their probable expectations and assess how they may react. Learn about their demographics, their behaviours, their likes and dislikes and their values. You can do this by creating a sample of your target population and interviewing people from the group. You can also create personas, conduct secondary research or use analytical tools to learn about them. Only by learning more about your listeners can you create content that really interests them and keeps them engaged.

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2. Learn about the topic

Once you have learned about your audience, it is important to learn about the topic that you want to address. Sometimes you may receive the topic from the event organisers or you may be an organiser. Depending on what your listeners or viewers want to know, you can do an in-depth study of the topic so that you can explain it from different perspectives. It can also help you answer questions that your audience may have effectively.

3. Identify your audience's challenges

One of the best ways of making a speech centred around your audience is to address a problem or a challenge they face. You can identify these challenges while speaking to your potential listeners during the research stage or you may already know a common problem. Include ways of solving the challenges while considering the other characteristics of the target audience.

For instance, if your topic is about personal budgets and your audience is middle-aged men, some challenges you can address are investing, leisure and emergency planning. While addressing these challenges, it is important to consider other aspects like lifestyle, habits, earnings, profession and marital status of your target group.

Related: How To Become A Motivational Speaker (With Necessary Skills)

4. Determine your audience's purpose

Next, try to understand what your listeners expect from your speech. Understand if they are looking for information or entertainment. If the majority wants to expand their knowledge or learn a new skill, make your presentation more instructional. If they are looking for entertainment, you can add relevant jokes, facts, examples and stories.

5. Make it interactive

Audience-focused speeches are often interactive, where the speaker engages the viewers or listeners. You can do this by asking them questions or including some activities that relate to the content of your speech. It may be a good idea to conduct team activities during your presentation, as it can help them get comfortable with each other and identify the relatability through practical examples. For example, during a personal budgeting speech, you can ask your listeners to create a monthly budget and present them with some situations that they may encounter in daily life.

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6. Personalise your communication

An important factor of successful speeches focused on audiences is the manner of communication. You can communicate with them in a conversational tone and speak to them as you speak with people you know and talk to regularly. Instead of speaking in a monotonous pitch, voice modulation can also help you gain the attention of your listeners or make them alert during important parts of your presentation. A friendly tone can make your presentation more appealing and help improve the effectiveness of the delivery.

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7. Allow questions from the audience

Allowing listeners to ask questions related to the topic can make the session more engaging and encourage them to take part in the discussion. While presenting the agenda of your presentation, you can announce that your listeners can ask questions they may have in the last few minutes of your speech. Alternatively, you can also keep checking with your audience to see if they have any doubts before you move to the next sub-topic.

8. Include examples

Another effective way of making your speech a success is by adding relevant examples. It is important for these examples to be relatable to the majority. Adding humour to your examples is a suitable ploy to make them interesting and attract your listeners' attention. You can also start your speech with a joke or an anecdote.

Related: How To Start A Speech (With Practical Tips And Examples)

9. Encourage action

Towards the end of your speech, it is important to encourage your audience to take action. It can be about implementing the newly gained knowledge, applying skills or changing a habit. Depending on the purpose of the presentation, frame a clear call to action and summarise the steps that your viewers or listeners can follow.

Related: Types Of Public Speaking Skills And How To Improve Them

10. Seek feedback

Asking for feedback can help you and the people you address. By seeking feedback, you encourage them to reflect on the presentation and identify what was helpful for them or which areas require improvement. It helps you understand their perspectives and expectations and implementing them accordingly can enhance the presentation you may make in the future to the same or similar audience. If you plan to continue giving such speeches, you can create an anonymous online survey and ask your listeners to fill it up every time after you complete your presentation.

Tips For Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Here are some tips that can help you improve your public speaking skills to improve your speech delivery:

  • Keep practising. To improve your public speaking skills, it is important to keep practising daily. Even if you are yet to write your speech, you can practise reading a paragraph loudly in front of the mirror when you are at home.

  • Listen to recordings. Another excellent way of improving your skills is to analyse your performance. You can record a video or audio of your speech on your phone and watch it later to identify the areas that you can improve.

  • Find an audience. It may be helpful to ask your friends and family to be your audience occasionally so that they can offer feedback. This activity can also help improve your confidence in speaking in front of larger groups.

  • Observe leaders. You can also improve your public speaking skills by observing expert speakers. If you admire a speaker, you can find them on social media handles, observe their presentations and try to emulate their techniques.

  • Ensure proper posture. Body language is an important component of public speaking. While you can make gestures using your hands, avoid sudden movements that can distract your audience.

  • Maintain eye contact. By maintaining eye contact, you can keep your audience engaged during your presentation.

  • Practise voice modulation and articulation. When you practise your speech, make sure you include voice modulations so that your audience remains engaged. Practise them before delivery to ensure you pause less and make fewer mistakes.

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