Back to the books for another semester… These next few months will be filled with “Ethics” and “Communication Cases and Management”. You may see some influence in this blog; consider yourself warned. To kick things off, how about some musings on the topic of audience analysis…
The laws of persuasion are clear, know your audience and their motivation, tailor your message to meet them where they’re at, and your chances of winning their support, convincing them of your message, or moving them to action go through the roof. This is basic stuff. Don’t alienate people. Don’t talk over them. Don’t talk under them. Don’t be too buddy buddy when you’re not really buddies. Don’t be too superior when they already think you’re pompous. Tailoring your message for your audience should be straightforward, as long as you take the time to think about it.
- Who are you talking to today?
- How does your message need to change to be the most effective?
Here’s a twist – how do you tailor your message to the one audience member who’s always there: yourself. One of the most important and influential audiences you will ever face is the one inside of you. Take a second to get past the cheesy-ness factor here and think about it, how am I tailoring my messages to myself?
In an output-focused world, it is increasingly important to make a conscious decision to turn the spotlight on yourself. Take some time for conducting audience analysis on yours truly. What’s going on in there? What are YOUR motivations? What do some of those random thoughts that are rolling around actually mean? Why do you do certain things and respond certain ways? Are you being honest with yourself? Before you try to convince a crowd, are YOU actively persuading YOURSELF to take positive action?
It seems safe to say that the better you know the primary audience, yourself, the better equipped you are to understand your other audiences and communicate with them effectively. If that’s NOT the case, well, at least you’ll know how to persuade yourself. I’d like to persuade myself that I don’t need sleep.
Getting right on that one…
Always, Alissa Jean