Know Your Audience BEFORE You Speak
A common mistake made for many when they speak is not knowing the needs of their audience. They present a pre-packaged speech without knowing if the material is relevant. This can be a recipe for disaster.
Early in his career, one of my mentors spoke before a group, His talk ended with a resounding… thud. He was confused by this response. This presentation almost always received an enthusiastic response.
After the event, he learned that just a few months earlier, he had spoken before many of the same audience members at a different organization Nearly everyone had already heard the message!
The lesson he learned: Do not speak until you understand the needs and the makeup of your audience.
How do you do this?
Use a Pre-Event Questionnaire. Ask these questions of the meeting planner to understand two main ideas:
1) What are the unique challenges faced by the organization?
2) What specific solution can you (the speaker) provide for them?
The following are examples of questions that will help you hone your message:
1) What is the makeup of your group [age, gender, work experience, etc.]?
2) What are the biggest challenges of your organization?
3) What are effective messages delivered by previous speakers?
4) How will you determine if hiring me has been a wise investment for your organization?
With this information, you have a leg up on other presenters who simply show up and speak. This greatly increases your odds of not only impacting the audience, but being invited back to speak.
What have been your experiences with audience ‘reconnaissance’?
The book ‘Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me: How to use storytelling to connect with the hearts and wallets of a hungry audience‘ by Greg Koorhan.
Of the many storytelling books I’ve read, this is one of the best. Mr. Koorhan uses his experiences as an award winning filmmaker to provide you the ‘how’ of creating compelling business stories. When you read this book, you’ll pick up dozens of useful tips, including:
- The 4 critical elements you must have in place to keep your audience engaged.
- Six different ways you can use stories in your business.
- A step-by-step guide for finding your most powerful brand voice.
- How to structure a story so that your audience feels compelled to listen.
- PLUS, examples to jumpstart the process!
In addition to outstanding content, Greg provides a links to download a free story creation workbook. This alone is worth 100 times what you’ll pay for the book. It’s a terrific tool to organize your story, edit it to it’s essence, and uncover your storytelling gold.
Don’t hesitate… click here buy his book.