As a speaker, teacher, presenter or preacher, it’s important we know two things: our material and our audience.
Nancy Duarte in her fabulous book Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations asks seven poignant questions to know your audience:
- What are they like? Understand them on a personal level.
- Why are they here? What motivates them to hear anything you have to say?
- What keeps them up at night? What fears or dreams do they have? What issues or problems are they facing?
- How can you solve their problem? What’s in it for your audience? How are you going to help them?
- What do you want them to do? So what? What’s the clear action when you are done?
- How might they resist? What barriers exist that could keep them from adopting your message and carrying it out?
- How can you best reach them? What would work best to make this most effective (i.e. room set up, temperature, volume, power points, humor, length of time, visuals, etc)?