Table of Contents, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Resources Page Previous Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Next Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience

Be One of Them

More than anything, a well-prepared speaker is aware, not only of the audience's quirks and concerns, but also of the larger picture: how current events may affect the presentation, or what preconceived notions the members of the audience might have of the speaker's topic or reputation. But don't make the mistake of assuming your audience has knowledge about recent events such as the Korean War or the Vietnam War; a growing number of young people don't remember the assassination of President Kennedy because they were born after it. It's a fine line to walk: Although you shouldn't overestimate what your audience knows, you can't underestimate its knowledge, either.

Once you have constructed a speech that truly addresses your audience's needs, you're ready to add the basics—an opening, transitions, and a conclusion—that reinforce the importance of the material you are giving them.


Table of Contents, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Resources Page Previous Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Next Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience