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Evaluating the Needs of an Audience
Understanding the needs of your audience is one of your first tasks as you develop your presentations. As you do your homework about the audience, answer the following questions to the degree possible:
How will audience members benefit from the product, service, or ideas I am proposing? This is the single most important question you can use to guide you as you design your presentation. In particular, focus on benefits that fulfill an unmet need.
What communication styles will your audience respond to based on their motivational values? Identify the motivational value systems (MVSs) of your audience and how you might appeal to the following MVSs: blue MVS, red MVS, green MVS, and hubs.
What is the learning style of your audience? Most people fall into one of three major learning styles: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.
Read the case below and answer the questions that follow.
Assume that you work in a human resources department. Recently, a small earthquake struck near the headquarters of your company. Although there were no injuries and little damage, your company president thinks that all employees should be more prepared for a major earthquake. In her words, “You never know when we’ll get the big one.” She has asked you to promote some earthquake preparedness workshops. The company president is holding an employee town hall meeting for approximately 100 employees this week. She has given you ten minutes to describe and promote the upcoming earthquake preparedness workshops. The workshops will run for two hours and involve expert training. Attending the workshops is entirely voluntary. You have scheduled five workshops to allow as many employees as possible to fit a workshop into their schedules.
Now, you need to think about how best to use your ten minutes to promote the workshops.
You’re considering gaining the attention of the employees by mentioning that nearly two-thirds of homes are at significant danger of catching fire in the event of a major earthquake. What need are you most appealing to with this attention-getter?
safety of families
safety of colleagues
Which of the following is most likely an obstacle to employees attending a two-hour workshop on emergency preparedness?
fitting a workshop into their busy schedules
skepticism that an earthquake will occur during their lifetimes
security in the fact that their home insurance plans will cover any earthquake damage
distrust in company leadership
You plan to explain to the employees that the workshop will be engaging. It will include a variety of activities, including short videos, simulations, and hands-on activities. You will emphasize that the workshop will move quickly from activity to activity. This will most appeal to what type of learner?
You plan to explain that, immediately after most disasters, there are few people prepared to lead and direct rescue efforts. As part of the training, employees will learn how to lead rescue efforts and how to direct and coordinate resources. Which type of motivational value system does this message appeal to the most?
You also plan to explain that preparing to help others during an emergency is an act of love and loyalty right now. This message most appeals to employees with which MVS?
As part of your ten-minute pitch about the workshops, you plan to show several diagrams and charts. One diagram depicts the procedures in place at your workplace. One chart shows the dramatic reduction in risks to homes that can be achieved with simple preventative measures. This approach most appeals to what type of learner?
With the company president’s permission, you’ve thought of a variety of incentives to get employees to attend the workshops. Which of the following would not be an effective incentive?
a food storage starter kit for only $99
a free meal
a $100 company donation to the Red Cross in the name of each employee who attends the workshops
a free emergency preparedness guidebook