You can hear and see it everywhere and get so used to it that you take this advice as a matter of course. Sure, you should know your audience – and you think you do. For example, they are office workers who need comfortable chairs. And you produce these chairs and are going to give a presentation of your product to the target group of people.
At the first glance, everything is elementary and very simple. On the second - are you sure that office workers will buy your chairs? After all, these decisions are not made by them. Employees do not purchase chairs for their own money.
Now we reached the point where understanding an audience already looks not so simple. Do you feel the difference? An elementary mistake can cost you a lot. So let's try to figure out how to identify your audience correctly and how to talk to it in your presentation.
Let's begin with a general definition. What should an ideal key audience look like? (If we are talking about a presentation).This is a group of people who gathered in a hall to listen to your speech. They are very interested in your topic, it is useful to them in their life or at work. They are ready to use it and are waiting for you to tell them how to do it. They have a problem that your information, your product or your service can decide. This problem and your product connect like puzzles - they perfectly match each other. These people will decide on their own whether to use the information, product or service that you are offering. They will follow you, they will give you money, they will come again or settle other needs and expectations that you have in this context.
You should identify them as much correctly as you can. As it is seen from our previous example, you may imagine your audience as office workers that may use your chairs – and this is true, they will, - but your real customers are their managers, your KEY audience that you forgot to invite to your presentation. So your efforts may have no sense. Think carefully – WHO is your person? This should be a person who makes a decision if you want to sell something. This should be a person who works in the field that you are going to talk about – if you want to teach your audience. His key problem should match your decision!
Ask yourself several questions: what age, gender, occupation (other characteristic that matter) they are? Where do they live? In what field or territory they work? What is their level of income? What is their level of education?
No matter if you sell or teach, you should know well what your key audience is interested in. As a rule, experts name audience's problems as pain points and problems. A problem has more general signs – it may be a common one, for example, managers were given a task to buy high-quality and cheap office chairs for several hundreds of employees. Not only that employees need to resolve this problem (they need to sit on something), that managers have to report for completing this task too (they need to keep their career on a high level). What about the pain points? There may be – price, time, quality and other specific details that make the decision really difficult to be made. You as a presenter or a seller should identify the pain points and the problem.
So, you've made a good job and now you know what problem does your audience have and what points are the most painful for them. Now you should offer a decision. To achieve the best result, it is better to follow their key-pain points and to tell them how you can decide their problem at every step of the way. Think about the information that they really WANT and NEED to receive from you. If you sell a product or a service, accent on benefits, not features. Everything may sound great but if people don't understand HOW they can use it for their own work or life, in their specific problem, features are about nothing. Tell them WHAT they will achieve when they use your information or product. And think carefully what do YOU want them to do – to place an order, to pass the exam, to try your service for free, to fill in post-presentation surveys or feedback forms. You should clearly let them know what do you want.
If your audience is chosen wrong, there are very little chances to reach them. Almost zero. But even if you did everything right, and they are going to listen to you tomorrow, you should know – this is still not a happy end. You should reach them correctly. If you are going to speak in front of a specific professional audience, you can – of course, use all the terminology of your topic. And if someone doesn’t understand a word – it is normally to ask. But if your audience is people who may not understand specific words, or there are more than 1-2 persons of this type, it is reasonable to use simple words with no difficult terminology. In this case everyone will understand what you mean to say.
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