After being clear on your topic, who you are presenting to (names and titles) and where the pitch is taking place, you are ready to dive into your audience analysis.
The fundamental purpose of Audience Analysis is to connect with each member of the audience so that they are more receptive to your your pitch.
Andew Abela (2008) gives us sound advice when thinking about our audience when he said that “if you routinely skip the step of thinking about the different personalities in the room, then there is a real risk that over time you will revert to accommodating only your own personality type and preferences.”
Given all the different possible combinations of styles and preferences that exist with an audience, there is probably a small probability that your style and preferences will match theirs. Therefore, it makes sense to adapt your pitch to the needs and interests and background of your audience (McMurray 2016). As a guide, this can be done by looking at the topics below.
- Know your style and know the style of your audience. These include thinking about your:
- Communication style, you can use any typology you like such as Myers Briggs,
- Body language, such as posture, facial expression, gestures and voice,
- Language, which includes vocabulary and
- Dress, making it appropriate.
- Know what’s important to them individually including any views or opinions they have on what you are pitching.
- Build trust and credibility by reflecting back what you have heard or read in the brief for the pitch.
- Don’t assume anything. Check and double check.
Audience analysis can be tedious but it’s a confidence builder and will result in a more personalised and polished pitch.
The amount of time you spend on this step is reflective of the importance of the pitch.
Abela, AV 2008, Advanced presentations by design creating communication that drives action, San Franiso, Calif. : Pfeiffer, San Francisco, Calif.
McMurray, D 2016, 25. Audience Analysis, viewed <https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/oertechcomm/25>.