Know Your Audience

Abhishek Ramakrishnan
3 min readJul 20, 2020

Not just in a presentation but in general, never fail to gather some intel on your audience. If you don't know your audience, you might as well prepare for failure even before the meeting begins.

Photo by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash

While I will be discussing how important is it to gather some knowledge about your audience from an oration point-of-view, understand the fact that this applies to every possible social interaction/meeting you might come across in your everyday life.

As always, let me get to a story of my life where I learned how important is it to know about your audience. If you enjoy story-based examples like this, read my other articles here.

Where I Learned

During my high school days (and I still believe that ‘thing’ is still going on), we used to go through an hour-long morning assembly where a lot of stuff goes on: all the way from punishment for misconduct to the distribution of certificates for achievements: to sum it up — it was crazy and it was fun. I was asked by my class teacher to deliver an inspirational story to the gathering. I, in my high school days being an arrogant little prick i.e., being different just of the sake of being different came up with a brilliant story that entertained none in the gathering. Believe me, no matter how toxic an audience maybe, they will enjoy a good story albeit, if you know whom you are addressing. If you wanted to know what story I shared — I shared a short anecdote about Ferrucio (and if you don’t know who he is, he is just an Italian farmer who founded Lamborghini Automobili) because I always believed that it is a banger and people obviously know Lamborghini. But it turns out, they don’t care — NOT ONE BIT. I even recall one of the school staff asking me after the assembly in my class what I was trying so hard to paint a picture about. Even she couldn’t care. That is how important knowing your audience is.

Where I Applied

In my regular English classes in high school, students are often asked to deliver a speech to improve our vocabulary and grammar. I did deliver one to my class and just like the gathering at the assembly, they didn’t care — not because they are bad listeners, but because I brought a knife to a gunfight. Knowing your audience is key. Then, I applied from what I learned. I switched up to a story that the audience (my classmates) might actually appreciate and boy they did. I talked about how traffic police excuse girls not wearing helmets and traveling in triples in mopeds around the city (no offense to anyone mentioned) while boys are fined and get beaten the crap out. They did enjoy that. Although this didn’t make me the most approachable among the girls in the class — they listened. That is a win — at least in my books.

So if you found this article helpful, try this in your next meeting and not on the ‘clap’ button. If you enjoy more articles like this, consider following me and keeping me motivated to write more articles like this. If you know some people in your social circle who might enjoy this article, please share this with them.

In the days of the existence of trending sections on social media websites, you came here to read this article — you are my MVP. Thank you for your time!