As a young communicator I struggled with trying to connect to an audience. I received some great advice from some more experienced friends. One of the obstacles in teaching is being able to connect with everyone in your audience. Most groups have all kinds of age ranges and interests. However there is a way to direct your teaching to meeting people where they are. Adrian Rodgers said something very wise concerning the Bible. He said that it is always relevant because it addresses the human condition. It answers the questions of Sin, Sorrow and Death. Those are issues that connect to all people. The Bible answers the questions that everyone asks, “How do I deal with pain and suffering and why life doesn’t work out?”
The way to present the problem that you are going to solve with your audience is to aim your message at what people deal with emotionally. That way you deal with something that everyone deals with and not just something that is confined to a specific demographic. For example talk about fear of failure, or frustration or loneliness instead of specific frustrations. You can then personalize it after you identify the major emotional issue you are working on to give your audience a platform to personalize it by listing some specific ways your issue presents itself. If for example you are talking about loneliness you can paint the picture of how they may experience it by talking about how when you are young you are lonely for your future mate, when you are middle aged you may feel lonely for your lack of relationship and the comraderie with friends like you had when you were younger, and when you are in the twilight of you life you may feel the pain of moving on with life when your friends have crossed beyond death’s line.
Connecting with an audience is an art, not a science. These are just some ways to make your message ring true with your audience. It takes a lifetime of teaching to become great at connecting with your people. Let me know if you have any other ideas on how to connect when you are speaking.