Public Speaking, Part 1: Audience Targeting Checklist

Captivating your audience is no less complex than a master chef crafting their signature dish. It requires finesse, understanding, and a sprinkle of magic. But fear not! I’m here to equip you with the ultimate Audience Targeting Checklist, your secret recipe to ensure every talk you deliver is as engaging as a stand-up comedy show that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.

This checklist isn’t just a list; it’s your backstage pass to understanding the heartbeat of your audience, ensuring you’re as aligned with their needs and interests as peanut butter is with jelly.

Use this to make sure you are doing everything you can to target and appeal to your ideal audience.


  • I have researched my audience to make sure I am not making assumptions about their interests, focus and needs
  • I have researched questions they have asked me in:
    • Blog comments
    • Social post comments
    • My Help Desk
    • Emails

    • Locally

  • I have paid attention to their linguistic style and level. For example:
    • Technical vs non-tech
    • Beginner vs advanced
    • Formal vs informal

    • Relaxed vs intense

  • I am scripting my talk to match their conversational style, language, and preferences
  • I have researched what words and phrases my audience habitually uses – and doesn’t use
  • I am adjusting pacing and flow to my audience’s energy level
  • I have more than one example or story prepared so I can select the perfect one for this particular audience
  • I am using words and stories that evoke emotion in my listeners
  • I have tailored any offers or pitches to suit my audience’s budget and needs
  • I have considered my audience’s predominant learning style and preference and tailored my presentation aids and accessories to suit them – such as:
    • Slides
    • Images
    • Sound clips
    • Screenshots
    • Charts
    • Diagrams

    • Stories

  • I am planning how to get the audience to participate – even if this means just asking audience members to raise their hands.
  • I am keeping my talk to a pace that feels natural to me and suits my audience (and the nature of the talk!)
  • I realize that a talk is not a “speech” – even if they don’t interact during the body of the talk itself, a talk is an interactive transaction between me and my audience


Remember, this Audience Targeting Checklist is more than just a list; it’s a mindset, a strategy, and your secret weapon in the quest to leave an indelible mark on your audience. As you move forward, armed with research, empathy, and adaptability, you’re not just speaking; you’re weaving a tapestry of connection that transcends the ordinary.

So go forth, my fellow speaking maestros, and turn your next talk into an unforgettable symphony of engagement. Remember, in the grand theatre of public speaking, you’re the director, and it’s your vision, your passion, and your message that will turn the spotlight on. Break a leg!

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