Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Skill of Knowing Your Audience

We all know that key to a successful presentation is knowing your audience.

But how do you really do that?

One way to begin, is by thinking of "knowing your audience" not as a task but rather as a skill. In other words, if you work on knowing more deeply, the people with whom you communicate on a daily basis (spouse, family, friends, colleagues, etc.), you will be better equipped to know the audiences to whom you give presentations.

With this in mind, watch this video by Doug Stevenson. In the video, Stevenson demonstrates his Story Theater methodology by telling a story of his relationship with his stepson.

While the ultimate purpose of the video is to demonstrate the Story Theater method, the story Stevenson tells contains a valuable lesson about how to develop the skill of truly knowing the people in our lives:

As Stevenson points out, the way to build a relationship is not by inviting someone into your space, but by "sitting at their desk."

By practicing this skill with those closest to you, you will develop the critical skill of knowing the other. Not only will this greatly improve the quality of your relationships, but you will in be better equipped to connect with any audience each time you get up to speak.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The insight in your first & last paragraphs is more cogent and valuable than the entire 9.36 minutes of Stevenson's canned spiel. You are a terrific blogger because you always have a fresh take.