3 Question Marks for 3 Personality Types in the Audience
You’ve done all your preparation. You’ve rehearsed and rehearsed. You’re ready to perform. Have you forgotten anything? Have you thought about the people in the audience? Have you greatly improved your chance of getting a positive reception or voyaging into the unknown? Here are some presentation tips to improve your performance.
You are about to learn a method of analysing an audience to please most of the people most of the time. See the question marks in the photo? For the communicator there are three different personality types that you will find sitting in front of you during your next business pitch. I know many of us have aspects of all three character traits at one time or the other. The key is to focus on the primary drivers when audience members are faced with an idea or proposition. The secret of success is to provide what each is looking for.
Here are the three personality types central to communicating successfully:
- The Visionaries.
These are people who in the first instance
react emotionally to the creativity, ingenuity and sheer cleverness of a concept. They are the ‘blue sky’ thinkers. If they’re buying a car it would be the colour, design and visually appealing aspects that are early influences. In business, their first thoughts would be the strength of the idea to gain market share or competitive advantage.
- The Dynamos.
This second group would appreciate the idea but think about the how they would ‘get it done’. These are people who make things happen. Their goal is to see a project through from start to finish within the budget and timeframe using all available resources.
- The Questioners.
These are the cynics. They may accept the potential of an idea but they want proof. They need evidence. They want back-up and research to make sure your proposition is compliant and has a hope in hell of success. They love asking ‘What if’ questions to either test your theories or find out if you really know what you’re talking about.
Presentation Tips For The Presenter
The presenter’s role is to anticipate the needs of each group and be prepared to satisfy them. This involves high quality preparation and rehearsal. It involves a healthy dose of Devil’s Advocate to challenge what you’re written and make sure you have covered most of the bases. Of course you will get questions that have not occurred to you. Don’t waffle or bluff. Just say ‘good question’ and give a time when you will get back to them with an answer and move on.
If you concentrate on content and not how it will be received you are taking an unnecessary risk. It follows that if the pitch is towards the Visionaries you will lose support among the Dynamos and certainly displease the Questioners. By the same token, if you load the content with detailed research you may frustrate the Visionaries. If you have prior knowledge of the likely make-up of the audience you can shape the arguments and evidence to suit the situation.
If you follow this three character guideline and you won’t go far wrong.
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