Understand Me 4 – Who are they?


At this point, you know what your audience Knows and what the Need to know. You've got a handle on their Opinion and remember that they need to be right, and they need to belong and you will be encouraging their positive self-image. But you recall the saying it's not what you know but who you know? In this section we'll cover:

1. Stakeholder Mapping

2. Action Types

Stakeholder Mapping

Stakeholder or audience mapping uses a simple 2×2 matrix with Low to high power on the vertical axis and low to high interest across the horizontal.

Stakeholder Map

Consider the specific individual members of your audience and place them on the grid relative to each other. Include, where appropriate, stakeholders who might not be personally present but sending a representative (aka spy).

Your focus in your presentation are those individuals who are most interested in your topic and have the power to affect the change you desire.

When you are preparing a sales presentation, for example, it pays to know who is the key decision maker (powerful) and the most interested. Not always the same person! I often find myself presenting to greatly interested people with little power and the person with the actual power isn't even in the room. I think of this as a gatekeeping presentation and once through the gate, I have a chance to pitch to the person with the power.

When you have a clear idea about the power and interest in the room, it's time to establish how you call the four different audience types to action.

Nancy Duarte says that there are four audience types, each requiring a slightly different call to action:

There are:

Doers, Suppliers, Influencers and Innovators.

Four Audience Types

Doer is someone who instigates activities. You should ask them to assemble, make decisions, gather, respond or attempt.

Supplier is a person who controls resources. Ask them to acquire, fund, support or provide resources.

Influencers change perceptions. Ask them to activate, convert, empower or promote.

Innovators generate ideas to add value to and spread your ideas. Ask them to create, discover, invent or pioneer.

How do you call to action if you don't know their type?

Intuitively you can see that these four audience types make sense. When you know your audience well and have experienced presenting to them before, it's relatively easy to pin them down to a particular type. But there will be times when you don't know them well enough. In such a situation, make sure to sow those key action verbs throughout your presentation noting who responds to each, usually shown through greater attentiveness, a smile, a nod or simply paying attention. Note also any of the verbs that appear to fall on deaf ears, you might not, for example, have any innovators in the room.

Above all, be sure to establish the audience type for the most powerful interested stakeholder and focus on getting the right call to action to them.

Of course, all of this is moot if you don't actually have a call to action

Your call to action for this episode is to identify your audience, map them on a simple power/interest grid and work out, if you can, their audience type.

I use post-its on a whiteboard (Here's my Blank Miro Template you can use) to help me in planning. And once I have identified the key stakeholders (high power and high interest) I take a little longer to get to find out what they know, and specifically what they need to know and take a little extra effort to understand their opinion and create a call to action that will activate them to fund the resources we need to make the change they need.

On that template, you’ll also map your Trust and Respect Matrix actions.

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