Communication skills

Know your audience: Who’s in the room?

- September 12, 2011 2 MIN READ

Whether you’re pulling together a keynote presentation; drafting anything from a 140 character tweet to a lengthy report; or simply preparing a blog post or verbal networking introduction, it’s key to know precisely who’s in the room.

In an age where we suffer from a bombardment of marketing messages, it’s relevance that our potential customers crave.

After all, if a topic is not directed at you, why would you waste your time listening to it or reading it? And if you’re not getting attention, you’ll not be on the path to a sale.

Subject lines, talk topics and Facebook headlines may well hook people in, but we need to do more to truly engage and enrich. As you’ve heard me bang on about before, it’s far better to be heard well by a few, than float through the semi-conscious minds of a mass.

As you’d expect, our handpicked speakers came well prepared and each and every one had our audience firmly planted in their seats. So how do we do the same?

Frankly it’s not hard.  It’s takes focus, some considered questioning and of course, research.

Want more articles like this? Check out the  communication skills section.

Speaking at an event? Push the organiser for an audience profile.

Writing a guest article? Ask the publisher for readership information.

Attracting lots of followers? Run a poll and find out who they are.

I think you get the idea. As someone who loves presenting to groups, I confess I have on occasion rushed into accepting an engagement without asking enough questions.

Trust me, standing on stage realising your audience is not terribly interested in what you’re saying is a great way to reinforce the importance of knowing your audience.

How much do you know about your audience and is there room for improvement? Tell all below.