Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at an annual professional association meeting. I was both honored and challenged when they extended the invitation. Why was I challenged?
This would be a joint meeting of several different professional associations. It was the largest event of the year for the sponsoring association and they wanted a home run!
While each organization is connected through an umbrella industry, they each have a unique purpose and mission.
It was a wonderful event. The presentation was well received and the feedback was glowing.
So why was the presentation successful? Because I understood my audience. I was able to tailor my presentation to meet their needs.
Why is it important to know your audience? Because it is the key to your success!
Understanding your audience helps you to choose the appropriate words and communication cues that you can apply in a certain situation.
According to the Professional Communication Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), when millennial leaders understand their audience, they can answer the following questions:
- How much do they know about my topic?
- What do they think about my topic?
- What are their goals?
For example, the way you would address teenagers, is not the same way you would address a group of chief executives. Once you tailor your conversation to the specific listener, you will be able to associate with them at a personal level, and your message will be more effective. Every single person in the room should feel as if he or she is being directly addressed.
Understanding your audience is a critical component of effective communication. The following three research-based guidelines will help millennial leaders understand and connect with their audience:
- Identify and analyze your audience – research your target audience to optimize your communication
- Identify specific need of your audience – identify the specific needs of the audience and establish specific goals
- Develop a strategy – determine the medium and message to meet the needs of your audience
In his book “Winning with People”, New York Times best-selling author Dr. John C. Maxwell asks leaders “are we willing to focus on others?” As leaders, our answer should be a resounding yes!
Our goal as a leader is to add value to others. Therefore, millennial leaders must be effective communicators.
Do you understand your audience?
Dr. Kim Moore, your guide to leading with confidence!
Dr. Kim Moore
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