Thinking in terms of your audience is crucial. Find out how developing an audience persona can help you forge a stronger and more personal emotional connection with your audience.
- I want you to try this quick-thought exercise. First, pretend you're telling a close family member about a problem you're having at work. Next, pretend you're telling your boss about the same problem. Chances are you're going to alter your narrative somewhat. You're going to change your tone, your word choices, and maybe you'll even edit certain details. Thinking in terms of your audience is crucial. Before you write one single word of your speech or presentation, take some time to develop an audience persona.
An audience persona is an individual representation of your entire audience. So instead of thinking of a large faceless group, think of that one single person you want to talk to. And that one person will share many of the characteristics of your entire audience. To develop a persona, you'll want to take steps to understand your audience as thoroughly as you can. This involves getting answers to key audience identification questions. I've included a list of starter questions for you in your Exercise Files.
Here's the first question on my list. Tell me about your audience. Who'll be attending? While this is a really broad, open-ended question to ask your event host, it can quickly reveal the most obvious insights. For example, I recently had a client I hadn't worked with for a while call to ask me to lead a breakout session at an upcoming conference. I had my audience identification checklist right in front of me, so I started with that broad open-ended question. And in this case, the first thing my client told me was everyone in the audience would be from Michigan.
They worked in different industries, but they're all in marketing. He also told me they worked at companies that earned over $20 million annually. So, within a few seconds of asking that one broad question, I not only got a clearer picture of the audience, I could check a lot of other items off my list. Questions like where are they from? What industry are they in? And so forth. I also had a better idea of what my audience all had in common. To flesh out richer character-developing details, I started going down my checklist and looking for blank spaces.
I asked other questions like how much do they know about the topic I'll be addressing? And how do they feel about the topic? My client who called, he's a CEO who's given many keynote addresses himself. He told me that he loved I was so prepared in asking me all the right questions. Good presenters know that audience research is one of the first things you'll need to consider when you prepare a presentation. So don't be shy about going down that checklist and asking your event host those audience identification questions.
- Describe the components of a great presentation.
- Identify your audience.
- Explain the main objective in a persuasive presentation.
- List basic vocal warm-up tips.
- Manage pre-performance anxiety.
- Identify effective ways to introduce your agenda.
- Describe common opening mistakes.
- Demonstrate effective body language.
- Identify indicators of helpful feedback.