10 Magic Questions That Will Tell You Everything About Your Presentation’s Target Audience

10 Magic Questions That Will Tell You Everything About Your Presentation’s Target Audience

Its order, its language, its ebb and flow. When you know who the people in your audience are, what their lives are all about, what their daily experiences are, what their deepest-seated emotions are, you can make sure the presentation you assemble and deliver lands one direct hit after another after another. When I first heard Zig Ziglar talk to “lowly” salespeople about being in “THE Proud Profession,” being the unsung heroes of the entire economy, the engine on which everything and everyone depended, and as improving lives for a living, I recognized he was landing a direct hit. But what makes it work, or maybe allows for it to work, is my deep and thorough understanding of my audiences. For 40 years, I’ve gone out of my way to create and deliver presentations to audiences I am certain I have intimate understanding of. But by my presentations to these audiences alone, I have generated at least $20 million in direct revenue, plus countless lifelong customers of considerable value. This is universal, to all groups, and can be used in embedding “triggers” into presentations that audiences can’t resist responding to. What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses or lives? Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed? From all three things comes Audience Knowledge, and with Audience Knowledge as the foundation of your presentation, you cannot fail.

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10 Magic Questions That Will Tell You Everything About Your Presentation's Target Audience

The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy and Dustin Mathews’ book No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

The first time I peered through a curtain into a basketball arena and saw 15,000 people there, soon to have me come out from behind that curtain, I briefly wondered if I was up to it. I subsequently appeared on that event tour over 230 times in as many as 27 cities a year for nine consecutive years and never felt trepidation about it after those first few minutes. By then, I had — as arrogant as it may sound — mastered two kinds of knowledge-producing know-how that provided more than enough competence for more than enough confidence.

One of those knowledge sets was the architecture for powerful presentations: the script. Its order, its language, its ebb and flow. The best mix of exposition, assertion, story, humor and more.

The other set of knowledge I’d learned to acquire and use was Audience Knowledge.

When a presentation lands a direct hit on an audience’s interests, beliefs, doubts, fears, hopes, ambitions, pre-existing ideas and pre-existing self-talk, its acceptance and enthusiasm for you as the presenter skyrockets and expands, and it’s nearly impossible to fail. In fact, you’re given more credit than your actual performance may deserve. When you know who the people in your audience are, what their lives are all about, what their daily experiences are, what their deepest-seated emotions are, you can make sure the presentation you assemble and deliver lands one direct hit after another after another.

What is a direct hit? It is an idea, assertion, single sentence, or single story that is precisely and exactly in sync with the audience hearing it. As an example, any time I talk to entrepreneurs about being the lone polar bear in a forest of grizzlies, and then talk about their sense of isolation and loneliness, of being underappreciated and disrespected, of being negatively labeled (workaholic, greedy, evil 1%’er, etc.), I land a direct hit.

When I first heard Zig Ziglar talk to “lowly” salespeople about being in “THE Proud Profession,” being the unsung heroes of the entire economy, the engine on which everything and everyone depended, and as improving lives for a living, I recognized he was landing a direct hit….

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