We train and coach people about a variety of communication and leadership topics. No matter what topic we’re discussing, we always come back to discussing the audience. In fact, we tell people that the first rule of good communication is to know your audience — really understand who they are. Whether you’re leading a team or building a business, if you haven’t spent the time to consider the true needs of your stakeholders, you’re in trouble.
And by audience we mean real humans. Not just some demographics on a piece of paper. People want to do business with people and brands that they like, and who understand them. People want to follow leaders who have a purpose and a vision they can support.
To achieve any goal, whether it be to inspire a team, sell a product or service, or convince a panel of experts to support you, you need to speak (verbally and nonverbally) in a way that connects with them. You can’t do that if you’ve only been thinking about your own needs and goals.
Always think first about your audience and consider what they need to hear from you.