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Respect Your Audience, Don’t Take them for Granted (By Albert Ocran)

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Respect Your Audience, Don’t Take them for Granted (By Albert Ocran)

Respect your audience. It is important for a speaker to avoid taking your audience for granted. Some people assume that their peculiar experience represents that of everyone. They, therefore, make sweeping statements full of generalizations.

A speaker could for instance say something like, “Ghanaian artisans don’t like work” or “We all know that young people like food.” This could immediately trigger a negative response from people who have contrasting opinion. Similarly, some speakers refer to only one gender in their speeches and examples. Again, this could alienate half your audience if not handled properly. You could soon start hearing murmurs of disapproval.
Saying something like “when I was your age” could also be problematic if unknown to you there are older people than you in the audience. People generally dislike being patronized. Be conscious about making any sweeping statements or generalisations that could alienate or offend a segment of the audience.
Even when you are addressing a dominant issue, it would still be preferable to say something like “A number of you today (Three out of every four of you here) have no idea where you are going next” rather than to categorically state that “You folks have absolutely no idea where you are going next.”
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