One thing that struck me today was the importance of knowing your audience. This proves true in so many situations. We can all think of a teacher or someone in a leadership position that pretty much sucked at their job because they did not know how to effectively communicate their ideas and thoughts to their audience. Personally, I hate being in these type of situations because I feel like I’m at the mercy of the speaker and that while they may have knowledge that is applicable to my life, they lack the ability to convey it to me and their audience. The same proves true with people who may not be in a leadership capacity. Even when talking to friends it’s important to think about how someone will take what you say. Some people need a straightforward approach while others respond better when the words are gently padded. It’s all about knowing the audience that you’re speaking to. No one would speak to a group of five year olds in the same way that they spoke to a group of people in their 30’s. Each group is different and the speaker’s approach should be tailored to the needs of the group. There’s no reason for a “one size fits all” approach when dealing with people. People don’t want to be talked down to. They want to listen to someone who can empathize with their current situation and communicate ideas in a way that helps them. Otherwise, they’ll just get bored and tune out.