Is There a Work / Life Balance?

Interview with Megan Crume

We enjoyed having Megan on the show last month we brought her back to discuss a the hot topic of “Work/Life Balance” There are so many books, magazine articles, podcast and media in general focusing on this topic. We found Megan’s approach to be refreshing and easy. Click on the link and listen in to our discussion. Feeling frazzled with your life? Megan was once too, but not anymore. To learn more about it or to stay connected with more information, sign up with your email address and we will keep you informed.

The Importance of Understanding Your Audience Before You Speak

An interview with Hassana Birdsong

There are three phases in audience analysis. The first is adapting to your audience before you speak. There are three ways to do this: demographic analysis, attitudinal analysis, and environmental analysis. Demographic analysis involves age, gender, culture, ethnicity, race, religion, and educational level.

Audience analysis is the process of examining information about your listeners. That analysis helps you to adapt your message so that your listeners will respond as you wish.

In everyday conversations you adapt your message to your audience. For example, if you went to a party the night before, you would explain the party differently to your friends and family. To your best friend you might say, “We partied all night and there were tons of people there.” To your mother you might say, “Oh, I had fun with my friends.” And to your significant other you might say, “It was fun, I had a great bonding time with my friends.” In each of these situations, you are adapting your message to your listening audience.

There are three phases in audience analysis: adaptation before, during, and after the speech.
Demographic Analysis involves age, gender, culture, ethnicity, race, religion, and educational level. Attitudinal Analysis addresses the audience’s attitudes, beliefs, and values. Environmental Analysis is finding out things like the seating arrangement, the number of people likely to attend, and the room lighting. The way the seats are arranged will affec the audience’s response. It is also important to know how many people will be there for the speech. And the way the room is lighted will affect the way the audience responds. If it is dark and the speaker is showing overheads, there will not be conversation. But if the room is light and open, the audience may feel more free to talk. The seating arrangement, the number of people and the room lighting are all factors that will affect the speech.

Exploring Your Story Perspective to Enhance Relationships

Interview with Sweetie Berry

A person’s perspective will either limit or enhance your ability to be powerful with your story. If we desire to have a powerful story it is important to be aware of what the intent of the story is.  Each story may have details that trigger, excite, or enhance the outcome or they may simply derail the listener emotionally so that the story is not heard.

Professional speakers must learn to speak to audiences with varying levels of engagement.  At times a speaker may be teaching a broad concept or motivating a crowd where the concept of a story and its outcome is shared.  At other times the speaker may be in an intimate, months long immersion group where more specific details of an experience may be shared for a different purpose.  The level of relationships with one’s audience helps identify the crafting of the story. Just as you wouldn’t tell a five year old the minute details of making dinner, you wouldn’t tell a chef that we’re simply having “mac and cheese” for the chef would want the minute details of ingredients and preparation desired.

Mastering your story involves maturing your ability to appropriately define what details of the outcome arc your audience needs in order to end the story at the same place.  It requires you to be able to separate yourself from your story and see the story as a tool, not just the retelling of a personal or professional experience. Sharing a story must have purpose and meaning for your audience, and that purpose may go off the rails if details take the listener away from hearing your story to reliving some story of their own. Words must be considered and the visual pictures measured so that they do not distract the listener from the purpose of the speech or keynote.