Who is You Audience?

I’m Chuck Goldstone and I live in the world of communication and story, and my role in the last couple of years has been working with startup companies to help them find their stories. It’s really about finding your core story and then making sure that it fits each of the audiences that you will be dealing with, whether those audiences are investors or whether they are people in your market or whether they’re channel partners or whomever they happen to be. One size does not fit all.

You Need a Clear Core Story

Maybe people are telling you that you need a good elevator pitch and then you need a good investor deck and then there you go, you’re off to the races. Well, you’re not. What you need as a startup company is a very clear core story and it’s very different than just the focus on an elevator pitch. It’s very different than just what you would say to an investor. What you need to figure out is who you are, why you deserve to exist, and why it’s important to each audience.

That last statement is very important. Why is it important to the audience? Keep in mind that every audience has maybe a slightly different agenda. Your market wants to know that you have a great product or technology and they can use it. Your investors don’t care so much about whether they’re going to go out and buy your new gadget or your new app. What they’re interested in is, “Are there enough people out there in that first category, people who want buy your product?”

Tailor Your Presentations

Each of the presentations we make needs to be specifically focused on what the needs of the audience are. Just because you have a really great overall pitch doesn’t mean that it’s going to reach the specific audience that you’re addressing. So the first thing you need to start out with is “What’s the action?”

Our role in communication is not to convey a ton of information. It is to move somebody to some kind of action, it’s to move them on to something that generally it’s in our best interest that they do. Don’t simply look at your outline and say, “I’m going to tell this to the next group.” Put that aside for a moment and think from the standpoint of your audience. What is it that they need to hear about you that will make them say, “Okay, that’s interesting. Now tell me more.

Don’t try to fit your audience into a standard presentation that you have. Adapt your presentation so that it looks like it is designed specifically for the audience that you are addressing. Now the secret is, you’re not creating a million presentations. Your core presentation is always going to be the same. What will be different is the strategy you have of how you assemble it, what the flow is, and how you relate it in the end to that action you want from them. And that’s where you will create a program that will be as responsive as you possibly can be to the audience that you are addressing.