What’s in it for me?

  • July 12, 2019 by Sara Nowlin, ACS, ALB, D53 Public Relations Manager
View of speaker from audience

That is the question that all audience members ask themselves as they listen to a presentation or speech.  Should I pay attention?  How much do I care about this?  Is there something else I should prioritize?

So it is critical for all speakers to gain the buy-in of audience members.  You can’t assume because they are in front of you that you have it.  You must earn it.

So how do you get it?

1. Do your research.  Who will be in front of you? What do they care about?  Will they be open or resistant to your message?  Not all audience members are the same, so you will need to consider how to hook in as many different types of audience members as you can.

2. Frame your central message around their interests.  The more you can craft your message around your audience throughout your speech, the more you will engage them and the more effective your speech will be.

3. Hook your audience in the introduction. You only have about 30 seconds to gain your audience’s attention and another minute or so to gain buy-in. Get creative in the beginning of your introduction to gain their attention by asking questions to your audience or telling a story in which they can relate.  This will start the buy-in process.

4. Conclude with the audience’s interests in mind. Circling back to their interests in your conclusion will make your message more effective.  Find a way to incorporate not just the majority interest of the audience, but also minority interests, so that everyone feels included.  The more people feel included, the more likely they will take the action you want.

The more you focus on your audience in your speech, the longer your speech will last in their hearts and minds.