Importance of knowing the audience before a training workshop

Knowing about the audience and their needs is a crucial task of the trainer before approaching a training assignment. An in-depth analysis of the level of audience, review of the reactions, impact and results of the past batches of existing clients, training needs of the present and potential clients and considering the attest trends in the market that can be brought into training practice to serve clients better and stay ahead of competitors by establishing a strategic path to provide exclusive solutions to client needs. A trainers attempt to know the audience will help him in creating appealing content, make key decisions in terms of content design and style of delivery.

The below points are to be considered by a trainer before making a presentation:

  • What am I going to say?
  • How much information can I fit into the allotted time?
  • What amount of time can be allotted to instructor led discussion, activities and role plays?
  • What can be the most likely time to finish each phase of the training and what amount of extra time can be allotted if some phases consume more time?

Although the above steps are important, a trainer may risk heading off in the wrong direction without considering the most important element of the presentation – the audience. As an effective presenter, a trainers first step towards making a powerful, persuasive presentation is to define the audience and list their specific needs. This will lay the foundation for a successful presentation and increase the likelihood of influencing the audience and get the targeted results.

Benefits of knowing the audience to the trainer:

  • The trainer can identify what motivates the participants to act.
  • It becomes simple for tailor the content according to specific audience needs in terms of what they want, need and expect.
  • Ease in projecting an appropriate presentation style and personality
  • Increases the trainers comfort level as a speaker.

Defining audience means finding out who they are. This information is crucial in order to address audience needs, interests, expectations and levels of understanding. Without this knowledge, A presenter is unable to match his message with their needs. The trainers ability to empathise enables him to influence their thinking, persuade them to accept his suggesting and achieve his goal addressing their needs.

The following questions will serve as a helpful guide to the trainer in defining and knowing the audience:

  • Who are the audience?
  • What are their professional roles, titles and responsibilities?
  • What are their goals and priorities?
  • What motivates them to act?
  • What are they expecting from the training?
  • How many people will be present?
  • What do they need to be more successful?
  • What are pertinent facts, figures and trends of their industry?
  • How much do they already know about the subject?
  • What are the demographics of the audience? (age range, education, socioeconomic level)

The trainer can tailor his message to specifically address participant wants and needs which will enable him to deliver a presentation that engages, informs and persuades. If a trainer shows the audience that he knows them and shows them he cares about their needs being addressed, they will gladly give their time and attention and contribute with their efforts to make the training presentation effective  and result oriented.

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