Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Who You Got In The Room?

It is obviously important to know in advance who you are going to have in your audience. Why are they there? What did they come to learn/do/see? Who are they? Here is a simple breakdown of how to understand an audience member's motivation walking in the room...

Passionate Paul - "I absolutely want to be in the room."

I am here to learn something specific that will help me either solve a problem or add to a solution I am currently experiencing.

How to Spot Me - I am sitting in the front rows. I am asking you questions beforehand. I am taking notes. I am challenging you for more, better, deeper, more specific information.

How to Connect With Me - Give me your best content up-front. Quickly let me know you have what I think you have. Win me over with substance.

Curious Chris - "I think I want to be in the room."

Your program title looks interesting, you look interesting, etc. I don't have an urgent need for your content, but I think I might like either you and/or your content.

How to Spot Me - I am cordial toward you. I am basically like Passionate Paul, only I'm not quite as eager or anxious.

How to Connect With Me - Make the experience great. Attack all my senses with music, interaction, reflection, information, etc. Win me over with interestingness.

Social Sally - "I have ulterior motives for being in the room."

I am here because my friends are, my co-workers are, or it is the better than being somewhere else. I am not really interested in you or what you have to say.

How to Spot Me - I will be checked into the room, just not checked into you or what you have going on. I will be chatting with my people in the room and/or texting/calling my people not in the room.

How to Connect With Me - To get to me, you are going to have to go through the side door. You can't hit me directly with information or even interaction. I will put up a wall. Ask non-responsive questions that I may have wrestled with recently. Tell a story that I can relate to. If you do interaction, let me stay with my friends. Win me over with indirection.

Hostage Harriet - "I absolutely don't want to be in the room."

I am here because I was forced to be here. I didn't have a choice. If I had a choice, I would certainly choose to be somewhere else.

How to Spot Me - Arms crossed. No eye contact. No response to questions. I might be abrasive or disruptive, but not necessarily.

How to Connect With Me - Don't force the issue. Just assume I'm not in the room. If I try to disrupt you, deal with me quickly and privately. Be real with me, though. I'm still a person with emotions. It just so happens my barriers are up higher than others. But you can't take them down. You have to give me a good reason to take them down on my own. Win me over with respect.

No comments: