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Know Your Audience: 5 Questions To Ask About Who You’re Trying to Reach

When it comes to getting your point across, there’s not much that matters more than knowing who your audience is and where they’re coming from. Whether you’re presenting in front of a packed stadium, planning a communication strategy for your brand or simply speaking with peers, familiarity and thoughtfulness will make a huge impact on the success of your delivery.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in this realm is assuming that the audience is just like you. The more you understand about your audience and the things that make them unique, the better you can express yourself. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your audience before sharing your amazing ideas with them:

What are their needs?

Are they short on time? Money? Good ideas? What are they in need of that you can provide?

How much does your audience already know about the topic?

One thing you absolutely do not want to do is to talk business jargon to a crowd that doesn’t share that same vocabulary. On the flip side of the coin, make sure you’re not dumbing things down if your audience already has a basic understanding of the topic.

Who else is competing for your audience’s attention?

Chances are, you aren’t the only one trying to offer up solutions. Take a minute to survey who else is out there, how you differ and in what way can you make your message stand out.

How long is their attention span?

Will your message be heard by a captive audience or by people who’d rather watch cat videos? This information will determine time frame and tone.

What cultural, social or economic identities are there within this group of people? How do these compare with me?

As with all communication, it’s best not to assume any two people are coming from the same place.

If you can keep these five questions in mind, along with an openness to learn about other viewpoints, your message should be on the road to a successful pitch. After all, communication is a two-way street: the more people feel heard, the more they will want to hear from you.