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3 Tips to Be More Audience-Centered When You Communicate

3 Tips to Be More Audience-Centered When You Communicate

| Tina Bakehouse

Following dinner, my junior high son asked with curiosity, “What do girls talk about?”  He was aware that he and his friends focused on sports, the game Clash of Clans, and a current science project. From his question, I gathered he genuinely cared about connection with others, going beyond topics he knew and cared about.

So should you when you speak.

When creating a presentation, think about your potential topics for future speeches.

Here are three questions to ask yourself to guide you be more audience-centered and engage them to continue to choose to listen.

What does your audience want to listen to?

  • What is relevant to your given audience?  A healthcare audience is different and values other content than financial planners do.  A healthcare audience may want insights on how to engage in crucial conversations with patients; whereas, a financial audience may want tips to share stories to hook potential clients to work with them.


  • What topic is timely?  During the pandemic, yes-and improvisation workshops to navigate change and uncertainty were more popular.  My former Professor Berghammer proposed a “Touch the Moon” project celebrating the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon instead of her original idea. Tune into what’s happening around you.  Don’t ignore it; address it in your talks and conversations.


  • What is interesting to you?  Ask if the topic is interesting to you, and then explore if it might be interesting to your audience.  Recently, I published a book.  Perhaps aspiring authors/readers would be more interested with my process.  Speaking at my local library on this topic makes more sense than randomly diving deep into my book project at a networking event. Note your communication context, which impacts content.

The more you care about your audience, the more they’ll choose to listen to you.
Listening is a choice.