All of us are familiar with the phrase, “know your audience.” Nowadays, it is easier than ever to identify your ideal target market and collect information on the people you are planning to present to.
Your knowledge of the audience can make or break the presentation, whether you are going to attend a sales meeting with a few people or you are presenting to a group of thousands. For example, if you know that the majority of people in the audience at a sales conference are marketers you can enhance your presentation with examples that marketers will understand and appreciate.
How do you learn about your audience prior to your event or sales meeting?
- Conference providers and event planners typically have a registration list for the event. At the very least they are able to share high-level statistics on the number of attending people and the type of the audience you can expect.
- Registration forums are another place to see who is attending the event.
- Social Media, such as LinkedIn, can help identify the roles and interests of the people you are planning to meet with. Twitter is another place where you can gather insights about people that you are planning to speak to.
- Asking questions on website forms can be of help as well. You may address specific questions directly to the targeted attending audience by conducting an online event or using an online registration form.
The data that you gather really depends on you and your message. For example, in a sales pitch, it may be helpful to know the name of the VP of IT, Diane. In that case, when that name is heard at the meeting or when Diane shows up to the meeting you know who she is. Another example: During a keynote forum it may be useful to be aware of who is included in the Q&A and what their platform of speaking is. When presenting to a crowd regarding finance it might be good to understand that 80% of your audience works in international finance.
Finally, you may want to improve your event, sales pitch or class by conducting a post-event questionnaire to gather data not only about your ideal target market but also on ways to improve your presentation. By conducting a survey design and analyzing the post-event data, you can really improve your presentation for the next event.