Have you ever sat in a class and listened to a speech that had you on the edge of your seat the entire time? What made that speech so interesting? What did the speaker do that kept my attention? One issue that speakers (and audiences) have to deal with is how to effectively gain my audience’s attention. Getting up and speaking in public can be a nerve-racking concept to think about. But one way to help deliver a speech that will be well received is to know and interact with your audience.
In a January 2014 Forbes article, Deborah L. Jacobs (2014) suggested that knowing your audience was the first and most important thing a speaker should do. It is vital to know whom you, the speaker, are going to speak to. What are the ages of the people you are speaking to? Are they well versed in the topic you will be discussing? Will the topic you are going to talk about offend audience members? These are all things to consider when going into a speech.
Another thing to consider is how to engage your audience. By asking a relatable question or tell a brief story or anecdote, you can break down a barrier between you and your audience and gain their attention in order to deliver a great speech.