Understanding your Audience
Crystal had been asked to speak to a group of customers who were taking a tour of her plant. She was supposed to talk about the area where she and the other members of her team worked.
"What will I say?" Crystal wondered. "I've never given a talk like this before." Finally, she decided to discuss it with her supervisor.
"They're not technicians, like you are," Ms. Muniz, her supervisor, explained. "They don't need to know all the details of the manufacturing process."
"That's right; they're customers, aren't they?" Crystal said. "They want to be sure we're manufacturing quality products." "Exactly," Ms. Muniz agreed. "So briefly describe how you carry out our quality process." The most important step in preparing any presentation is to understand your audience. "Before you start," advises Donald Walton in his book Are You Communicating?, "it's wise to reflect on who your audience will be and what their primary interests are."
As you prepare a talk, conduct a listener analysis to analyze the people who are going to receive your talk. This is similar to what you'd do before starting to write a memo or report. This information will help you determine what to say.
Ask yourself the following questions: