This is a question that is quite prevalent in speakers and individuals belonging to all backgrounds and all age groups, whether you are in school or are a politician running for office or are a CEO of a company facing angry investors- how do you speak to tough audiences? It is possible that your audience is against you and skeptical of you.

What i find the best way to tackle this skepticism in to address it head on. For example, if i am speaking to a crowd that i can tell doesn’t want to be there hearing about public speaking tips, i might just start off the speech with something like this: “Okay, some of you are probably thinking, ‘Oh boy, here’s another speaker about public speaking and he’s gonna tell us to not say uh and um’. That’s what you’re thinking, right?” If i can coerce an agreement out of them, then it breaks down the wall between us.

What is probably true of all audiences is that the main thing they want is not to be bored. They do not want someone to put them to sleep. If you can give them information that is interesting and useful to them, they will like you. Of course, it is possible in political situations that the audience has such a preset mind that they are always going to boo you no matter what. In this case, your real audience is your own supporters around the world who are watching the ordeal through online videos or news coverage.

But for the typical school presentations and the typical business or even political situations, you should give even more scrutiny to the messages you are saying and make sure that you are eliminating any message that isn’t incredibly interesting, useful and believable for your audience. Make sure you get to the point right away. Do not waste a lot of time talking about your speech or dancing around tough issues; just hop right into the first issue. Do that and the tough audience will surely come over to your side.

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