Always Remember Your Multiple Audiences

So, have you learned this yet? Everything you say, anywhere, might end up on youtube or quoted or replayed on some web site – from some “gossip” web site, to a much more reputable web site.

And, here’s the bad news – if it lands on some obscure blog or some “gossip” web site, that means that it could spread to other sites. Once it’s up there, it’s out there…

Just ask Donald Sterling…

So, be careful.

And, when you give a presentation – any presentation — you always have multiple audiences. Back in my graduate school days, we studied the work of Chaim Perelman, show wrote about the “universal” audience and “particular audiences.”

In other words, you’ve always got more than one audience whenever you speak.

Here’s just a sample of what you have to keep in mind…

• the actual, physical audience – the people present who are listening to your presentation
• your peers, who will always be “evaluating” with some level of comparison in mind
• your boss/manager/supervisor. Every presentation is an opportunity to raise your value (or, to detract from your value)
• the people who will report about your presentation, whether “official press” (what is “official press these days?), or bloggers, or commenters… and then, people who will read such accounts
(I recently heard a terrific presentation on LinkedIn at a MeetUp gathering in Dallas – dozens of people left comments on the value of the presentation. Those comments then took on a life of their own).
• your critics and opponents, who want to “catch you” in a mistake
• yourself… you always have to please yourself with the quality of your presentation

And, by the way, these audiences are not just for your verbal presentations. You know that anything you write, or even your comments in a meeting, might be evaluated and discussed.

So, as you prepare your next presentation, remember to keep your multiple audiences in mind.


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