t’s important to me to know my audience as much as possible BEFORE I get to the stage.
When I lecture on cruise ships I roam the ship with an intention. I want to know who else is on the ships. Are there families, couples, singles, young, old? The general wisdom is that I am talking to my parents generation. But, truth be told (talking to myself here) I am quickly becoming that generation and am talking to peers. But, not quite yet.
There are some steps I like to take to get to know my audience BEFORE I go up on stage.
1. If there is a sign up sheet to attend I can check out the names, sometimes faces and even profiles. This is easy to do when there is an online sign up.
2. If my time permits, I attend a session anonymously (except the organizer usually knows me) before my turn comes around.
3. I ask the organizer if I can send out an email to the group with a very simple 2 or 3 questions to gauge expectations.
4. I research what the group has been doing before I get there and what they will be learning after I go to know where I will fit in. The organizer can help with this and/or I can check their curriculum online.
5. I visit the venue and walk the stage to get a feel of where I will be. I also sit in chairs that the attendees will be using so I can see what their perspective will be.
All of these steps help me to be mentally and physically prepared by knowing as much about my audience as possible BEFORE I go on stage.
What do you do to get to know your audience?
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