What the audience cares about, and what you offer, are the same thing. If you're doing it right.
The problem comes when you assume what you care about is important to the audience in the same way as it is important to you. Or that the way you habitually talk about something is the way that communicates directly to your audience.
I asked a client what they were interested in working on. What areas they wanted to improve. "Stage presence and content flow," he said.
I had a couple of choices at this point:
Option 1: Respond with, "Okay, so you want to develop charisma and story-telling skills." Now, I might not be incorrect, but I'm making my job harder.
What did I do? The client offered A and I gave them B. I put my own clever spin on their needs. I held up a mirror that no longer reflected them back to them.
What does their brain do? Their brain has to take the picture of the thing they care about (which is loaded with all the painful feelings associated with the experience of lacking stage presence and content flow) and create another picture of what they think I meant by what I said, then experience the feeling this new picture calls up, then compare the two feelings to see if they have a match.
What's the result? The client has an immediate experience of me as someone who doesn't listen. This two-sentence interaction, which takes less than 5 seconds to transpire, communicates that the speaker doesn't understand or doesn't care about what the audience is experiencing.
What's so wrong with that? By putting their needs in your words, you introduce a lot of noise in their brain. Making your audience work this hard is, at best, introducing conflict where it doesn't need to be. At worst, you've lost them forever.
Option 2: Respond with, "Okay, so what's your current experience of your stage presence and content flow?"
What did I do? I provided a direct A-to-A mirror of what they offered me, and I ask a question to deepen my understanding of what they mean. My success is connected to my understanding of my clients' current experience and how they would like it to be different. I can't provide value to them if I don't know where they are, and I can't help them exceed their expectations if I refuse to see them.
What does their brain do? When we have our words matched by someone, there's a little part of us that says, "Yes! This person is like me." The brain opens the door to an experience of trust.
What's the result? Our audience feels safe and expresses itself authentically and easily.
What's so wrong with that? Provided the matching is supported by the intention to provide value to the audience, it's a pretty good way to do things.
Bottom line, find out what your audience cares about and give it back to them straight. Your value comes from what you do with the information you gather, not how clever you want them to think you are.