Lesson 5º









When you speak in public, the first thing you have to do is capture the audience's interest and attention. so that the communication is effective.

Talking to a public that doesn't show any interest is a waste of time.

If the public attends an event it is because they are interested, because they want to get something from it (learn, get to know other points of view, have a good time, etc.) therefore try not to disappoint them.

Don't see the public as an enemy.

You need to prepare the speech according to the audience:

Talking about topics that interest them (if the speaker has the option of choosing).

Using appropriate language, understandable: you should not use terms that sound strange to the audience (it is not the same talking to univeristy students as talking to a group of retired people).

The same topic can be approached in different ways according to the target audience.

A presentation about unemployment trends in Spain will be different if it is carried out in Parliament or if it is carried out in a political meeting (in the first scenario it will be a more formal presentation, distant and moderated, whilst in the second case it will be more informal and passionate).

Although until you actually see the audience you will not know exactly who your audience is, you will have to talk previously to the event organizers so that they can indicate what type of public they think will attend.

One aspect that you should bear in mind is if it is just one group of people (for example, students from the law department) or not (for example, the public of the local "fiestas") given that the speech needs to be directed at all of them.

You should not use terms or expressions that the public does not know, nor enter into levels of detail which one part of the audience might not be interested in, or are simply not able to understand.

Also you need to find out how many people are due to come:

It is not the same speaking to 10 as to speaking to 300 people. This will influence the capacity of interaction (ask questions, debate, etc) if you have the need to use or not use a microphone, in the possible means of support (blackboard, projectors, etc).

If there are a lot of people in the audience you will need to speak louder (even if you use a microphone) something that you should bear in mind when you are rehearsing. With just a few attendants the style can be more informal, closer, instead of a formal style when you have a larger audience.

You need to bear in mind the possible knowledge that the public has about the topic that you are going to speak about, as this will determine the depth of your speech, or whether you have to use more or less technical vocabualary.

An aspect that will also influence the speech is if the speaker already knows the audience (if they have previously met, if they work in the same company, live in the same town, etc) as if this is the case, the speaker can make the speech less formal and be closer to the audience.

You need to try and anticipate if the audience is going to agree or disagree with the thesis that you are going to talk about, if you believe there are going to be differences in opinion, try to work out what they are going to be.

If you have the opportunity to refer to other possible points of view take the opportunity, treat them with respect, although point out that they are not your own.

You also need to consider the most probable questions the audience is going to ask, so that you can prepare the answers.