Types of audience and how to deal with them
Based on the above-mentioned aspects, people respond differently to you. In this section, we look at different types of audience and ways to handle them.
Some might be reluctant to change their ways of thinking and you might need strong logical reasons to convince them. Some might be volunteers who readily accept a new idea and are ready to take the action you want them to take. Some might be the drivers of decision making in a group where they cut across distractions and ensure the promise is delivered.
1. Hostile audience: They are hard to convince, so have evidence for all your claims.
These are the egocentric people who question your claims and defend their views. The fact that audience is egocentric means that they are less open to new perspectives and ideas. When you spot such people in a crowd, don’t panic.
Listen to what they have to say and stress on the common points you share. This feeds their ego and can work well to have them on board with you. Don’t exaggerate or drag your points since they may distract or even offend them. Have clear and concise data for all your claims and present your conclusions in a compelling way.
2. Friendly audience: Use the shared interests in your favor.
There might be some people who are already excited about the topic and are willing to hear from you. They resonate with your ideas and support you throughout your presentation.
Talk to them passionately and tap into their emotions by using analogies or models similar to them. Friendly audience are the most loyal and easiest to convince. So, tell them what exactly to do, be it purchasing your product or signing up for your newsletter.
3. Apathetic audience: They don’t care, show them why they should.
This is the section of people who care least about what you have to offer. They have no interest to argue or discuss. They may zone out from time to time and are probably waiting for you to stop talking.
The first step is to make them a part of the conversation. Ask simple questions and be patient while they answer. Use interesting visuals to gauge their interest. Slowly bring them to your subject through strong points and show them why they should care. Don’t show off your skills, instead focus on what’s in it for them.
4. Uninformed audience: They have no expert knowledge, so start from the basics.
These are the people who have come to learn a deep understanding of the subject. They might have a very vague understanding of the topic and want to learn more. They are looking for someone who can explain to them in basic terms.
So, before you dive in, ask them what they know and start with basic examples and applications. Take time to teach them before persuading them to take an action. You want to avoid jargons or any terms which might be heavy for this section of audience.
Most crowds have most if not all kinds of personalities; so, prepare your presentation to fit all of them well.