“First, try to understand the others, and then try to make them understand you.“ Stephen Covey
Every intervention or speech has an objective. That goal will be achieved only if the expectations of the audience are taken into account. What is the public waiting for? Why go to the presentation?
In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to be interested in the audience and its characteristics. Knowing the number of previous attendees who will attend helps us give dimension to the event. In addition, it is advisable to collect as much information as we can about the profile of the audience. Specifically, it can be very useful to know sex, age, place of residence, cultural level and profession or activity. With all this information we are shaping our audience a little more. In addition, we know personal characteristics such as their needs, motivations, objectives and attitudes; we will be adjusting our speech even more to the expectations of the public.
Another fact or that may be relevant is to know if the attendee has attended the presentation voluntary or was obliged to go.
The empathy map includes a series of questions that any speaker must ask themself in order to make a more exhaustive analysis of the expectations of the audience.
What problems can the audience have that are related to the presentation? The answer to this question is one of the keys to the intervention. A common link between the audience is identified in the paper to be addressed in the speech. For example, the paper deals with a specific skin disease. It is presumed that a large part of the audience or their closest environment suffers from this disease.
What do you think and feel about them? Common problems can also have common thoughts and feelings. If we all know this disease it is possible that we all feel helplessness, for example, the itchiness that we feel. This will generate thoughts such as “I can’t take it anymore, I feel like rubbing myself with sandpaper.” The speaker has to locate common feelings and thoughts to share them and generate empathy and attention.
How is your world? Although each person lives in their particular world, it is very possible that the audience that has something in common also shares perceptions. Continuing with the previous example, it is possible that all people suffering from the same disease have the same home routines; ways of sleeping, physical activity, etc. In addition it is also possible that your world has the same limitations generated by disease.
What needs do they have? In more or less, the audience also shares needs to be met. The answer to this question implies the value that the rapporteur must bring. Knowing how to identify the needs and, as far as possible, offer solutions or alternatives must be the object of the intervention. In many occasions the needs do not necessarily have to be physical but also emotional; share, reflect, learn, etc.