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Knowing our audiences can really be helpful sharing our stories and information in a more effective way. Also, and I learned this the hard way speaking at some conferences, the diversity of audience members is also important to know.
Some topics may not be of interest to some audience members and some topics may be of high importance to others. To balance that can be a challenge in its own.
Of course attendees to meetings can also be thought of as audience members. That doesn’t mean that we will have 100% of the floor or that it’s a keynote but it means that the more we know about them the easier it will be to share the most relevant things for them. Very similar to giving a keynote speech in that regard.
At conferences, sometimes speakers ask for a show of hands to see what category of knowledge or background attendees fall into. I hardly ever use that strategy because many people don’t participate anyways plus it’s hard to figure out what the exact Mac up is anyways.
In the day-to-day world of business meetings, LinkedIn has a nice feature that helps us accomplish the same thing. It’s especially helpful when we meet with people that we don’t know yet or that we don’t meet with all that often.
Side bar: Sometimes when I am evaluating products, sales people instead of showing me the product will ask me 15 questions about myself and my needs and my goals. Blah blah blah.
They expect me to send them back all the information before they tell me anything else about the product. Typically I disregard those conversations unless I really want the product and I actually already know enough about the product.
Probably enough people respond to those questions and it’s probably helpful enough for those sales people because they get a better understanding of their audience and they are qualifying you to an extent.
The problem with that tactic to a degree is that if I don’t take the time to actually send you the answers that you are looking for I could be disqualified as a potential buyer simply because I didn’t want to spend the 10 minutes answering your questionnaire.
But, in reality I might still be in the market to buy a product that is similar to what you’re offering.
So there are potential downfalls and also upsides to asking prospects questions as mentioned in the sidebar above before sharing relevant information. The same of course is true when it comes to speaking and also business meetings.
On LinkedIn, I have synced my calendar with the professional social media platform. When I have meetings scheduled LinkedIn will actually send me a reminder to review the LinkedIn profile of the people I’m meeting with in preparation for the meeting.
That’s of course a fantastic tool, especially if their profiles are comprehensive. Even profiles that only have people’s job titles and job history without any further description can be helpful.
For example, if you are meeting with long-time video storytellers don’t tell them about how to tell better video stories but maybe talk about how some new technology that you heard about and are testing can help them distribute their stories better. Remember they’ve told video stories for a long time.
It’s really easy to set up too. Go to your LinkedIn app on your phone, then settings, then sync calendar.
I think the notification only triggers though when the person you’re about to meet with has the email address you used in the email invite linked in their LinkedIn account.
But, it appears to me that it also triggers when you aren’t even connected. So every once in a while I get a notification to check out somebody’s profile who I’m not connected to. That appears to happen when they have their email linked.
Of course, it goes both ways. The other person in the meeting might also be checking your profile out before you meet. So that’s another reason why it’s important to keep your profile updated and have it show your professional story.
That could include:
- A relevant professional picture
- A relevant professional summary
- Awards and recognitions
- Description of current role and past roles
- Any other information that will help you share your professional story
Personally, I love this feature so far and it’s helped me be prepared and know a little bit more about the people I’m talking to. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️