Knowing Your Audience is Complex

I am out in Minnesota, teaching a three-day workshop on executive communication skills for our largest client. And over the course of the day yesterday, the group had a great conversation about the complexities of understanding audience perspective. Knowing your audience is critical to great communication… we all know that. But in 2014, the business world has gotten complicated enough that there are a lot more variables than ever before. Knowing your audience today means a lot of things.

It means you have to consider the audience’s business context, their cultural context, their gender context, their generational context. It means you have to think about what economic pressures are on them. How competitive is their industry? What does their stock price look like? Is their leadership team new or experienced? What is the organizational dynamic inside their company?

The list could go on and on and on… but the point is this: great business communication requires that you understand the perspective of your audience, and get outside your own head. And understanding the mindset of a customer, partner, vendor or colleague, requires that you consider many more variables than was necessary twenty, even ten, years ago.

Knowing your audience is not always easy, but it is always required. And the more you know, the more potential leverage you have in your effort to persuade, influence, and build consensus.

Have a great day.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at

Photo by Matt Cornock used under the following license.



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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.