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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the October 2009 Newsletter

Audiences And Search Engines

Just as all search engines aren’t created equal, neither are audiences. Some search engines are quite forgiving asking, “Did you mean this?” when you’ve misspelled a word. They work with you, give you choices and the benefit of the doubt.

Others demand the exact input, spelled correctly, with little or no effort to interpret what you might have meant.

To get the results you want, you’ve got to know which search engine you’re dealing with and present your information accordingly.

And so it is with audiences. There are those who are flexible, open, receptive who will give you the benefit of the doubt and make the effort to work with you to a mutually happy conclusion.

Some need you to state in their language from their point-of-view the message you’re conveying.

And, just to make it interesting, you may have both those represented in your audience with several shades in between.

So, we’re right back to how important it is to know your audience. Because some will forgive and others expect you to get it right.

As always, it’s your job is to know everything you can about your audience (harder to do in some cases than others), and make your pitch towards who they are.

Equally important, is that you know them well enough to start off by connecting with them. Connecting with them in a way that you can turn even the most demanding “search engine” into a forgiving one allowing your message clear passage to their minds.

First Person

Gary Tharler, The Massage Guy:

“I love getting your tips and your quotes, and hope you are doing well.

“I'm presenting to the local Hilton next week. I feel completely confident. I'm thinking about contribution, my passion, images-not words. I'm not afraid to make mistakes because I know it is all the other stuff people will be getting. Thank you.”


“How much time should you spend on your closing?”

Over all, the speech/presentation should be balanced: about 5-10% or your time for the opening and 5-10% on the closing, the rest making up the body.

If you’re needing to persuade your audience the percentage would be on the upper end plus maybe a percent or 2.

If the closing is too short, the rhythm is off, it’s abrupt, unsettling. The audience isn’t ready for it and won’t absorb your point.

So, in the opening, you’re wanting to create a partnership between you and your audience and to help them see where you’re headed, making it seem reasonable or worthwhile for them to stay with you.

After you’ve made you’re case, it’s important to remind them of what that case consisted of (summarize) and let them know how you’d like them to proceed or make it clear what your point is and how it affects them. That’s what your closing content needs to do.

So balance the length of the closing with the opening, pause before you deliver it to help set it apart from the body, and hold onto the thought for a few moments before mentally letting go.

Your closing is your last chance to make your case. Give it your full attention.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“If you only do what you know you can do – you never do very much.” —Tom Krause

“A company is known by the people it keeps.” —Author Unknown

“When we put ourselves in the other person’s place, we’re less likely to want to put him in his place.” —Farmer’s Digest

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” —Frank A. Clark

“Make every decision as if you owned the company.” —Robert Townsend

“The second-sweetest set of three words in the English language is ‘I don’t know.’” —Carol Tavris

For more great quotes, check out these websites:


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**How to Overcome the Stress of Public Speaking
Pasadena: 3-day workshop October 25, 26, 27, 2010.

We have two public seminars each year: May and October/November. If you have several people who could use this training, contact us regarding an in-house seminar.

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For more information, contact:

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(626) 792-8075

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