in Careers Advice, Interviews

Demonstrate how you vary your communication approach according to the audience that you are addressing?

Advice

This question is probably more relevant to some professions and posts than others but in essence the answer has to be the same. You need to have at least 3 different examples of different types of audience you have had to speak to. For example a useful selection would be probably the workforce, the board of directors and a seminar for potential customers. That would give you a fairly broad spectrum to be able to provide examples for.

This of course is easy if you have covered such a variety but of course the problem arises if you have not and are in need of examples to demonstrate with. Most people in their lives who are in this type of role have had to address different audiences at different times and there is no harm in using non-work related examples if strictly necessary in order to get your point across. If you have addressed your rowing club dinner and this can be used as an example of the way you change your approach according to the audience compared with your usual audience of potential customers, this can be a useful example to give.

Do not make the mistake of being too general with this question and saying that you would change your approach according to who you are speaking to. The question specifically asks for you to demonstrate that you are capable of doing this.

Examples of Answers

“I regularly speak to audiences from different backgrounds and levels of experience and feel it is very important to make sure I get my message over to them in a style that is relevant and interesting. Specific examples of the varied audiences I have spoken to in the past include the board of directors in my present company, seminars for potential customers and training exercises with my colleagues. The feedback from all of these has always been very positive and it has been commented that my presentation style in each situation has been very good. I can provide you with references from members of the audience in each situation if you would like to see them.”

Or:

“I regularly take training exercises at work and at the same time I am the president of the Luton Rowing Club. My role as president involves regular public speaking and my style of communication varies considerably compared with my training exercises, although I feel that an experienced public speaker can vary their style of communication according to the audience fairly easily as it seems to become second nature after a while.”

Or:

“When I take classes further up the age spectrum I give them lots more detail and teach for longer time periods, whereas teaching more junior students needs to be much more broken up because their concentration levels are that much shorter. The same has been applicable in further education when I have taken evening classes and I am conscious of the need to interact with my audience according to their skills and capabilities.”

 

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk