Sun Tzu says, “Know thine enemy”. Here at Get Sandwich we say, “know thine audience”, while you shouldn’t think of your audience as an enemy, when making a speech, still a good idea, to have a plan of attack. This video will help you determine what kind of audience you have so that you can progress to the next stage and start thinking about what to do about it.
Because being able to anticipate the response your audience will have will help you when you start to plan the writing of your speeches and could be the factor that decides whether your jokes fall flat or that clever story that sounds so good in your head actually works or not.
The Receptive Audience
The first kind of audience, the receptive audience. They are eager to listen, open to your ideas and quite possibly on your side even before you step on to the stage.
They might be members of a club to which you belong where you are talking about something that interests them or co-workers and you are explaining how a new system works that will make your group’s lives easier. It could also be an audience that doesn’t know you but you are the first speaker of the day and they are alert and open to new ideas.
The key to identifying a receptive audience is that:
they are open to your ideas,
they have are willing to pay attention to you whilst you speak.
The Hostile Audience
The next kind of audience you might encounter: the hostile audience.
They might be the people you are responsible for at work as you explain a change that will cause uncertainty in their lives, or when you are speaking at a club or organisation where you are trying to persuade people of diff opinions on a sensitive topic about your views. They might be people who want answers regarding something that has gone wrong, something that quite possibly wasn’t your fault personally, but requires you to diffuse the situation.
So to summarise hostile audiences:
are not open to your ideas,
are possibly looking to find fault in what you say,
but crucially, they are keen to hear what you have to say, even if they are not interested in listening to you.
The Apathetic Audience
The third kind of audience is in some ways the hardest one: the apathetic audience.
They could have heard five speeches already today and whilst yours would otherwise be interesting for them, they just don’t have the attention to give you. Perhaps the topic just doesn’t seem relevant to them even if their managers think it is. Perhaps they have had bad experiences with public speakers before and automatically switch off in lectures.
Apathetic audiences can be characterised as so that:
the ideas being communicated rarely make it through to the listener because they aren’t paying attention,
they are neither receptive nor hostile but could potentially be either.
Which One Do You Have?
A good question to ask when trying to think about what kind of audience you will present to is:
When I step on to the stage and start speaking, do the audience want to hear what it is that I have to say?
If yes, then you have a receptive audience,
if no, then you have a hostile audience,
and if you think they won’t care, then you have an apathetic audience.
Get Sandwich collaborated with TEDxStockholm to prepare for their event “Lighthouse” in late November. It was the biggest TEDx event even held in Sweden, from mynewsdesk.com:
With seven speakers and an audience of over 800 people, Lighthouse will be the biggest TEDx event ever held in Sweden. The event was sold out record-wise and in various forums people are now trying to get tickets desperately.
On November 25, seven talks will be held in the TEDx spirit in the hall of Nobelberget, Nacka in Stockholm. The event is called Lighthouse to brighten up, spread ideas, and steer us towards a brighter future. The event, with over 800 seats, was sold in record time and thus also becomes the biggest TEDx event ever held in Sweden.
Lighthouse will be about the past and future of music, how the new generation of millennials change the workplace, how data can not only explain but also make individuals dare to break glass roofs, how imagination can not be defined by usability and pragmatism and how to keep it alive, What AI can offer for education, what you can learn by crossing the Atlantic in a rowing boat and how to restructure its home to save on Earth’s resources.
The event was a major success and in this post, we explain how we worked with TEDxStockholm behind the scenes to make the event the one to be remembered.
TEDx Stockholm’s Speakers Team invest a lot of time and effort to increase the quality of speaker’s performance by assigning one, or two coaches for each lucky speaker. They also involve the whole TEDxStockholm team by collecting feedback in content and delivery rehearsals from everyone. This is a laborious process of back and forth between each pair of speaker-coach and the wider TEDxStockholm team.
TEDxStockholm is a relatively large non-profit organisation with over 40 volunteers. Although most of them are based in Stockholm, finding a time where everyone can physically meet is challenging.
When the Speakers Team started planning the rehearsals, they wanted a more centralised location where the whole team could easily reflect and feedback on the speeches. In the past, the rehearsals weren’t filmed and the feedback was recorded on a gigantic google sheet (they were very organised). This time, all rehearsals were collected in a video library on Get Sandwich. Then coach used the library to review what to keep and what to change for the next time and give better guidance to the speaker.
Caption: Milestones in our collaboration.
We customised the platform to suit the exact metrics they looked for in the final performance. Hint: some of them involved asking if the idea was worth sharing! The metrics guided everyone who gave feedback to pay more attention to specific areas such as the voice (volume, pace) and the body (stage movement, gesture). These are constructive things speakers were able to easily pick up and improve upon.
For the content rehearsal, we focused on four ratings and for the delivery rehearsal, we focused on six. Having more ratings would mean giving feedback will take too long and less productive for the entire rehearsal process.
That’s a lot of feedback
The content rehearsal was held in October. During the meeting, the platform collected a total of 123 feedback responses for seven speakers. For the delivery rehearsal in November, we collected 71 feedback for four speakers. Some speakers who were not able to attend the live rehearsals had the option of sending their videos instead. In the past, it was much harder to distribute these videos and make them easily accessible.
Caption: Feedback was essential for all these rehearsals.
We have next year to look forward to
Sigita Zvirblyte, TEDxStockholm’s Head of Speakers Team, said, “With Get Sandwich, we’re able to get more and better quality feedback for our speakers, and it is easier for coaches to identify attributes that should be improved. The user-friendly interface helps to keep the rest of the team engaged during the rehearsal process.”
TEDxStockholm is the first TEDx we have worked with and we are very grateful for that. They are tremendously professional and thoroughly committed to the mission of TED: Spreading Ideas Worth Sharing.
Here is a photo of all the wonderful speakers, proud of the worthy ideas they have spread to the world.
Caption: The grand stage of TEDxStockholm with all the participants. Looking fabulous. Copyright: TEDxStockholm.