The speech you gave isn't necessarily the speech the audience heard. While you may not give many public addresses, the communication factor holds true in any speaking situation. So if you've ever wondered why your 'audience' -- whether one-on-one, in a small group meeting, or to hundreds or thousands -- just didn't seem to "get it," maybe what we said and how we said it wasn't specific enough for our variety of listeners. Let's think about the potential diversity of our audience members and see how we can differently address them so they hear what we're trying to say. Let's also use the subject of "ice cream" to show how we might take a varied approach.
If you have Men in your audience...provide "just the facts, ma'am."
In the course of any given day, women use two to three times the amount of words that men do. It is the nature of our everyday language, communication process, and lifelong relationship-building structure. We often feel compelled to relate the whole story, every precious, minute detail, when much of the time just the facts would be enough to convey our point to the male listener. It's not curt, rude, or snide; it's just how our brains are wired. Accept that men and women think and speak differently, and reach out to connect the differences.
Complicated story: "Remember when your brother told me that story about your family vacation to the beach when you were six and you got really, really sunburned, and the only thing that would console you was a big scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream? And you guys got into a fight over the best flavor, and your parents argued about how expensive the cones cost, but in the end at least you got your ice cream. You think we should buy some now? Should we get the old favorites or trying something new? Should we....?"
Direct / non-story: "Pints of our favorite brand of ice cream are on sale for $4, so let's each pick one to buy; would you like chocolate fudge or salted caramel coffee?"
If you have Auditory listeners (about 40% of people)...give the details but DYA.
We've all done it: used jargon, technical terms, obscure references, or industry speak when a simpler word, phrase, or description would've sufficed. So DYA: Define Your Acronyms. While Auditory listeners may need to hear a mix of this type of language to be comfortable in their trust of you as a subject matter expert, that doesn't mean your entire address should be a shopping list of ingredients. Auditory listeners will hang on every word, and every word must still be clearly defined and digestible. Speaking with clarity isn't just about the sound of your voice -- high or low volume, elevated pitch, pleasing tone, etc. -- it's also about your word choices.