Nonprofit Marketing: Target Your Audience
I had an amazing opportunity today to experience a public speaking class at Speak Easy. Although we learned many pertinent lessons, there was one specific statement the instructor shared that has stayed with me. He said, “Think about what your audience wants to hear, not what you want to tell them”. Wow! This message is so important for us in our personal and professional lives. I think about how this simple statement can change a situation, a conversation or even a relationship.
I think this is profound on various levels. For one, will the audience accept what I have to say? Am I talking about a topic that my audience is interested in? Are they willing to accept the information that I am about to provide? Do they want to be here or have they been forced to be here (because their boss told them to, it’s their job, their spouse or partner is forcing them, etc.)? The answers can depend on a few things:
- How they found themselves in the situation.
- How I present myself. How I stand, hold my arms, etc. How fast I speak. How loud I project my voice.
- How I share information. The words I choose to use.
Secondly, how does the audience want the information to be fed to them? Do they want facts? Do they want to have a ‘say’ and be given the opportunity to respond to what I am saying? Do they want me to speak about the emotional side of a situation and ‘move’ them? Let’s use this grid of examples:
If I say: But the listener wants to hear:
|I’d like you to do a better job cleaning the house.||I’ve noticed that I have not been able to get the bathroom cleaned by the weekend and would like your help.|
|The bristles on our company’s toothbrushes for children are too hard for the consumer.||Consumer research shows that 85% of children prefer our competitor’s toothbrushes for their softness.|
|Our nonprofit needs $100,000 by the end of the year.||A contribution of just $25 can help us properly dress a woman for job interviews. Our clients are able to obtain employment by the 5thjob interview they attend.|
|We serve 125,000 people a year by giving them meals, a warm bed and job training.||60% of our clients obtain employment (PT or FT) within 1 year of being in our program. Of those clients, 70% of them are able to move into their own residence within 7 months of getting employment.|
Lastly, does the information that I am sharing help them feel different (in a way that they welcome)? Does the person feel better about a personal situation or professional situation? Does it help them accept a difficult situation (maybe a medical diagnosis that they just received). Many times, information and additional education leads to empowerment.
Let’s help the people we are talking to accept us as a provider of information, hear our words in the manner that they want to receive them and feel empowered by the information that they have just heard. Wishing you lots of success in your future speaking engagements!
Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art