A Lesson I Learnt Recently On The Importance Of Audience Analysis
A few months ago, I booked my 2-year-old into a weekly Kinder Gym Class.
I had assumed, as it was a ‘Kinder’ gym class, that it would be very basic.
However, when we arrived, it was obvious it was waaay too advanced.
For example, a snippet of one of the circuits they gave us went something like this (no joke either):
“Ok so we’re going to do a little circuit.
First you’re going to jump off this block and do a 180 degree turn, so you land the opposite way into this hoop we’ve put down.
Then we want you to step onto this beam and balance yourself as you walk along it, being careful to step onto the flowers (just material flowers) we’ve placed at various intervals.
Now, if that’s too easy you can also spin these plastic plates on top of these sticks whilst you’re doing it”
and on and on it went….
WHAAAAAT….!? Are you kidding me!
As you can probably imagine, the kids went wild, off in all directions. They hadn’t paid any attention and didn’t follow the instructions at all.
Now whilst my little one did technically have fun, I was baffled they could miss the mark so badly.
It would have been fine if it was a class of 10 year olds…… But this was a Kinder Class ….. where most kids were around 3 years old.
This got me thinking, it’s very similar to what can happen if you don’t think about who’s in your audience when you’re presenting to people.
If you fail to think about where your audience are at, your talk can come off as overwhelming or miss the mark completely.
So, it was a great reminder of the need to think about your audience carefully, before you plan out your presentation.
I like to think about things like –
- What’s their current level of understanding of this topic?
- What are they capable of consuming / digesting in the time I’ve got with them?
- What are they struggling with, that I could address in my talk?
- What would they really value out of this session?
- What do I need them to be able to action following the session?
- What obstacles/limitations may exist for them, when they’re executing what I’m sharing?
This will give you some boundaries to work within and help you frame up what you cover, so you cater to your specific audience.
So, next time you’re prepping a presentation, don’t just share what you want to share. Think about this story and consider the audience you’re presenting to, so it hits the mark for them!
What do you consider, when it comes to your audience? Let me know any key questions you think of, that really work for you.
Thanks for reading,
Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 100 group coaching sessions, coached more than 200 people privately, and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe.
She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact, and confidence (whether that’s at work or at a Conference). So they can share their ideas competently, elevate their personal brand and start to enjoy ‘public speaking’!
She’s also a mum of a 2 year old, a massive dog fan and loves to do cryptic crosswords.