Linking In To Your Audience Before You Ever See Your Audience

How To Make Your Sales Presentation Connect With An Audience You’ve Never Met

The fastest method to connect with your audience is to really know your audience. Unfortunately, as motivational speakers, sales people, or anyone giving presentations understands, we don’t often get the chance to get to know them first. Or do we? Can we get to know an audience before we get there? I say yes you can thanks to technology and it’s simpler than you think.

First you need to realize that you aren’t on a quest to know their individual stories but rather their collective story. You need to know what life is like from where THEY sit. The experiences, while unique to each of them, are universal to their profession.

You can ask the meeting planner all the questions in the world, but that’s not enough. You can send questionnaires out to all attendees. I don’t know about you, but I’m busy, very busy. And I don’t have the time, energy or desire to complete a questionnaire in advance – for you, the speaker. You’re lucky I can come at all. I don’t want another survey. Do your own job. Do your own research. Leave me alone. Why make me grumpy before I even meet you ?

So how do we do our own research?

I have one word to answer that: LinkedIn Groups. Okay, so that’s more than one word . Nevertheless that’s my answer for today. There are numerous social networks out there, but as of November 1, 2010, I am going to state that LinkedIn is the best place to hang your hat.

So let’s discuss using LinkedIn Groups to research your audience. There are many other uses for LinkedIn, but today we’ll stick with audience research. If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, bless your heart, go get familiar and then pick this article up again. If you are familiar with LinkedIn but haven’t used the “Groups” feature – take a look at what it’s all about and then pick up this article again.

So now we’re on the same page – we know that there are groups we can join on LinkedIn that may or may not require prior approval from the group liaison. Find the group or groups that are most closely related to your audience.

So what groups do you join? Find the ones most like your audience. You won’t always find a direct match, but if you’re going to speak for an audience of senior citizens, then you should be able to find some groups – okay, maybe not senior citizens – but you get my point.

Know why you are here and why you are not here. Number one – you aren’t here to sell. Period. Don’t do it. People don’t want to be sold on LinkedIn. Networking is never about meeting a stranger over cocktails and hitting them between the eyes with your sales pitch in the first thirty seconds of your conversation. Networking and relationships are about connecting and making friends. They aren’t one-sided. When I get on with the intention to find out about my attendees, I’m there merely to take notes. Period. I may ask a query to get a dialogue going and I don’t feel that’s impacting on their precious time provided the question pertains to the group and its passions – not YOURS. LinkedIn

So now settle-back and listen closely. Look at discussions. Take an active role in a dialogue only when you must. You’re not here to give out tips; you are here to investigate – to accumulate content. Basically allow them to have a discussion and be a wall flower.

I’m crafting a performance for administrative professionals. Even though I’ve performed that work earlier in my work life, I have little doubt that it isn’t going to appear identical nowadays as it did years ago. Check out considerably business has transformed in 20 years! I could imagine what their careers are like, and the meeting organizer may give me a a long winded diatribe from their view. However , that is inadequate for me to fully feel like I’ve got a reasonable comprehension of who they really are. how

Therefore , I got on LinkedIn and hunted for administrative assistant groups. Backup Bessie, where do I get started? There were clearly an abundance of groups. I picked two major ones (though I’m not absolutely certain it truly makes a difference) and shared this question:

Hello there, many thanks for enabling me to be a member of your group. I’m not an administrative professional, I’m a motivational speaker and comic, and I’m penning a presentation for administrative professionals. However , I don’t understand what your work is like – actually like. If you’re so moved and wish provide feedback, please let me know what your occupation is like. You don’t need to give names. Just let it all hang out. Think of this as group therapy. to

I shared that note on two good sized group web sites and I’m even now (half a year down the road) receivingopinions. It instigated a mammoth dialogue via the internet and a spot where folks could congregate and let it all hang out with individuals that fully understand. Not surprisingly, I have much more information than I’m able to truly utilize. Speak about customization! Do my tales have to equal theirs when I perform? No. Definitely not. No two stories were identical – although I was fortunate to seize on to many wide spread realities about the vocation to stand up there and prove to them that I realize what it’s like.

(BTW I subsequently found out that you shouldn’t distribute the identical question on two comparable group sites. It’s rude and annoys your audience – people involved in both groups.)

So there you have it, a straight forward means to get acquainted with your listeners before you ever meet them. Have fun, and good networking!


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