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Chapter 7. Getting to Know You: Audience... > Let Me Entertain You - Pg. 48

Getting to Know You: Audience Analysis 48 · Lawyers.Unless you know your audience well, steer clear of lawyer jokes; they are often in questionable taste. · Librarians.No quips about eagle-eyed matrons with buns, steel-rimmed glasses, and orthope- dic shoes, please. Today's "information specialists" (as librarians are now called) are much more likely to be interested in hearing about computerized catalogues and retrieval methods. · Educators (teachers and principals).Today's educational hot spots include homogeneous vs. heterogeneous class grouping, budgets, and tenure. Talk Soup Yesterday's "librarians" are now "information specialists" to reflect their changed role in the Internet Age. · Industry regulators.Know that an audience comprised of industry regulators is likely to take offense at a speech about radical environmental ideas. · Accountants.Don't assume that accountants are dull; that stereotype is as stale as yesterday's bagel. Consider how the latest software and recent changes in the tax code have transformed the industry. · Computer specialists and systems analysts.Be sure you know what you're talking about when you take on computer specialists and systems analysts. Don't throw around computer jargon without a real understanding of its meaning. · Marketing personnel.Discuss what's in and what's out. Share ideas about vendors and trends. · Engineers.Stick with the basics: solid information that's professionally delivered. This kind of audience tends to appreciate visual displays such as relevant, well-prepared charts and graphs. · Stock and bond brokers.The market's volatile, so there's lots of room for discussion here. You can discuss trends, foreign markets, and creating a balanced portfolio, for example. · The self-employed (such as writers).Increasingly, self-employed professionals are concerned with issues such as medical coverage, retirement plans, child-care, computer needs, and net- working. Let Me Entertain You Stacey was invited to a new friend's home for the first time. When she arrived, Stacey's new friend excused herself to fetch her mom. As Stacey was standing in the living room next to the fireplace, she picked up the attractive vase on the mantle. Class Act To find out about the group to which you'll be speaking, check the invitation you received, the corporate year- end report, members of the organization, friends who know about the group, and the public relations depart- ment. Don't be shy about getting as much information as you can about your audience and the reason for the speech. Remember: More research means a better speech.