Creating the Introduction, Step 2: Relate to the Audience

audience picWhat happens once the speaker has primed audience members and prepared them to listen by effectively hooking their collective attention? The speaker must do something to promise that the audience’s investment in time and attention will continue to be worthwhile for the remainder of the speech. Do this by explicitly and carefully relating the topic to the audience, not on a general basis, but in a highly controlled and specific manner. Demonstrate effective presentation skills by carefully tailoring the topic to the audience’s needs. This reinforces how the audience analysis remains absolutely critical for a speaker to achieve success.

Clearly and explicitly answer the question “What’s in it for us?” for the audience. Rather than merely telling the audience why the topic should matter to them, show them how it relates to them. For example, if the speech topic concerns methods to detect breast cancer early, the speaker might state the statistics on how many women will get diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, but then, he or she might also state the odds of the men in the room receiving the same diagnosis as well, in addition to talking about how spouses and partners play a critical role in early detection. This connects the topic clearly to each and every individual in the room.


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Messages that Matter: Public Speaking in the Information Age - Third Edition Copyright © 2023 by North Idaho College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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