presenter - audience common ground chart

Connecting empathetically with a presentation audience requires developing understanding and sensitivity to their feelings and thoughts.

It’s the presenter’s job to know and tune into the audience’s frequency. Your message should resonate with what’s already inside them. As a presenter, if you send a message that is tuned to the “frequency” of their needs and desires—they will change. They might even quiver with enthusiasm and move together to create beautiful results.

When you are close with someone, your shared experiences create shared meaning. My husband, Mark, will often speak just one word that is packed with ample meaning, and I’m beside myself with laughter. It is safe to say that you haven’t known your audience for thirty years—but if you research them enough, they will feel like a close friend. And friends can easily persuade each other using an inherent way of swaying one another toward their point of view.

Establishing how you’re alike also clarifies how you’re different. Once you’ve identified the overlap, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what’s outside the overlap that needs to be embraced by the audience.

Your objective is to find the most relevant and believable way to link your issue to your audience’s top values and concerns.

If any man were to ask me what I would suppose to be the perfect style of language, I would answer, that in which a man speaking to five hundred people, of all common and various capacities, idiots or lunatics excepted, should be understood by them all and in the same sense which the speaker intended to be understood.
–Daniel Defoe

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