Think you know your audience? Think Again!

By Tamara Carrillo McLeod August 29, 2022

Do you have a presentation coming up? If so, I bet you have put some thought into the content, what you may want to say, and perhaps your ultimate goal. But how much time have you invested in getting to know your audience? There are only two types of audiences you will face as a presenter – a new audience or a familiar audience. I find the latter to be the most challenging. When presenting to an audience we are familiar with, it is common to find comfort in that familiarity and to take the audience for granted.

It is critical that we do an audience analysis for EVERY PRESENTATION and EVERY AUDIENCE through the lens of our existing topic. 

I recently coached the CEO for a large marketing company. In our first session he shared that his last “All Hands” presentation was not well received. After asking a number of questions, it became clear to me that he had not invested enough time thinking about his audience through the lens of his current agenda and content. During our conversation, we discovered that there were some apparent biases and opinions that employees held around a couple of the critical topics in the presentation. Unfortunately, he did not consider those biases when developing his message. This costly mistake created a disconnect between him and his audience preventing him from reaching his goal. 

If you have ever had a presentation go bad or get derailed, there is a good chance you did not spend enough time thinking about your audience in regards to your existing topic. The biggest benefit of doing an audience analysis is that you create a presentation that is uniquely crafted for the individuals in that room. When this happens, your audience will receive your content while feeling valued, seen and heard. In the end, the audience analysis is one way to ensure that both your goals and your audience’s goals are truly met. 

Would you like tips and questions to help you analyze your next audience? Contact us or visit Voice, our signature presentation and communication skills program where we focus on the 4 critical components of an audience analysis.