“Audience analysis gives you the tools you need to shape your product and your message” (Locker & Kienzler, 2008, p. 41). When presenting the company’s quarterly sales information it is important to evaluate the audience so that you can tailor the message to their needs. Considering the characteristics of the audience; the more you know about the audience, the more you can focus your presentation on what they need to know. You will also need to determine which communication channel is the most effective to present this information.
It is almost important to understand the diversity of the audience so that you aren’t focusing on one group of people. If you spend the time analyzing your audience you can ensure that your sales presentation is effective. The more you know and understand your audience the better your message will be; you can start by identifying the characteristics of your audience. According to Locker and Kienzler (2008), the demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, religion, education level, and income may be relevant when analyzing the audience.
Because the sales presentation is for the stakeholders of the company, particularly managers, sales, and the customers, the demographics of the audience may be irrelevant for this case. When analyzing the stakeholders for this presentation, it is important to evaluate what they have in common and what is important to them. For example, stakeholders have a stake in the company so they want to see the company succeed; the sales data should be detailed enough to see the true performance of the company.
Performing an audience analysis can be simplified by focusing on who they are, what their needs and expectations are, and how they will use the information. Managers need the sales information to gauge the performance of the company and to help make decisions on the day-to-day operations. The sales staff can use the information to see if they are meeting their sales goals and customers want to know that their suppliers are operating consistently and solid. Knowing the specifics needs you audience needs will help you when you are organizing your information for the presentation.
Effective communication is based on selecting the appropriate communication channel to convey your message. Communication channels are the methods that are used to send a message to the audience. These methods can vary in efficiency and speed to the number of people who are reached (Locker & Kienzler, 2008). These messages can be sent through brochures, letters, e-mail messages, telephone conversations, video conferencing, and face-to-face meetings (Communication Channels, 2011). You are currently planning your sales presentation for a face-to-face meeting with the stakeholders.
By meeting face-to-face you can combine some of the communication channels for a more effective message. The written part of the message includes presenting the sales information in a PowerPoint that allows you to include detailed information incorporating graphs and charts. You can communicate the information orally providing a narrative that supports your PowerPoint slides. This can be a very effective method of highlighting specific points of the presentation to what the audience needs to capture.
Other methods that can be used effectively in this scenario are a video conference or a conference call combined with Net meeting in order for everyone to access the PowerPoint during the meeting. Emailing this type of information is fast and efficient, but it would be ineffective. There is too much information that could get overlooked and misinterpreted regardless of how much effort you put into the audience analysis. Email channels are more appropriate for routine communication such as day-to-day activities. Selecting the proper channel can contribute to the success of the message.
When preparing your presentation it is important to take into consideration the diversity of the audience. Living in a multicultural society it is important to recognize and be sensitive toward the different cultures and ethnicities of people. In addition you should understand the organizational culture. Organizational culture is a set of values and attitudes that can change from company to company. It can be an important part of delivering a successful sales presentation by understanding the culture of the company.
In the sales meeting with the stakeholders you have a diverse audience of internal company managers and sales staff and you have external customers. You need to take this into consideration when determining the level of detail that you want to share in the meeting. With the presence of outside people, you may want to be cautious of how much sales information you present in the meeting. Too much information could be damaging; you don’t want your customer to have more information than necessary to get the message across. Analyzing your audience will prepare you for the diversity of your audience.
In order to communicate effectively with your audience, you need to understand who they are, what groups they belong to, and what values they hold” (Locker & Kienzler, 2008, p. 41). One way to ensure that you deliver an effective message is to start by performing a thorough audience analysis. Organize the information that you are including the key points that you want to get across. Creating visual aids like graphs and charts that support your ideas can help to keep the attention of your audience. It is also helpful to know your material and have good speaking skills so that you can relay the information without interruption.
When meetings run long you can start to lose the attention of your audience; keep the presentation to a time length appropriate to get the message across. Create an interactive meeting and ask questions; this way you will know immediately if the audience is clearly receiving the information that you are presenting. Presenting quarterly sales information requires a little bit more than throwing numbers on a slide and showing them to the managers, sales, and customers present in the meeting. To ensure that you are delivering an effective message put in the extra time to do the research.
Evaluate the audience so that you can focus the presentation on what type of data and information that each group of stakeholders need. Prior to scheduling the face-to-face meeting; consider different communication channels to present the sales data, this will help to determine which method is the most effective. Include enough information to ensure that you deliver an effective message that benefits your audience. “Audience analysis is the first step in any communication process: it gives you the tools you need to shape your product and your message” (Locker & Kienzler, 2008, p. 41).
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