In this series targeting some strategies to help know your audience, I have given two tips that will help you be prepared and target your speech with specific information. First, I told you that you need to plan on arriving early and connecting with the attendees one on one to gain some insight about what brought them there.
Second, I advised you to get a copy of the list of attendees and do an online search of them, just to figure out where their business and professional interests will best overlap with the focus of your presentation.
And I gave examples from my personal experience HERE and HERE to support my case that these are some extra efforts that will more than pay off in audience engagement and participation, not to mention ongoing relationships and networking.
But it’s important to be able to improvise in a pinch. There are times when I am being brought in too late to have done that level of homework on my prospective listeners. And unfortunately, I am also sometimes too solidly booked to permit me to spend the kind of time before my speech that I would like to.
It doesn’t happen often. But occasionally, you just have to fly blind. When you do, then ask the program organizer to give you as much information as possible about the particular audience they expect or, at the very least, ask them to describe the usual audience they get at this function/event. Any information, no matter how trivial, can be made useful in your presentation.