Post Date: October 24th, 2011

Do you know your audience?

This past week I had the pleasure of travelling to Montreal with my colleague Wayne Pagani to present to a very engaged audience of employment counsellors. During our time in Montreal, a number of events took place that reminded me of the importance of the work we do together, and with our clients.

Weeks before the presentation, Wayne and I did a needs assessment of the audience we would be speaking to that day.

Step one: Know what the decision maker needs

We called the client to ensure we were on the same page when it came to the workshop deliverables. After clarifying the decision makers buying motivators, we reached out to the target audience (employment counsellors) using a free online survey ( We asked them to share their pain points with us, so that we could then design a workshop built around their needs.

Step two:  Understand the pain points of your audience

Now, with a better understanding of the pain points of our audience, we began to research best practices from our industry.  It would be naïve of us to believe that we had all the answers, so we gathered as much data as we could find on the subject, and began weaving together information that would be relevant to our intended audience.

Step three: Consider the mindset and style of your audience

As we began to put together the outline of our presentation, we considered the diversity of our client: learning styles, communication styles, readiness and receptivity to ideas. We tried to imagine every possible type of learner we would interact with, and we tried to find a fun, innovative way to engage them in what we had to offer.

Step four: Preparation. Content.  Delivery.

We rehearsed. Wayne and I have worked together for more than six years and we still make it a priority to rehearse. Why? Because the flow of our workshop, is as important as the content. Our audience appreciates our energy…often using words like “lively, humorous and insightful” to describe our presentations. One corporate trainer who attended our workshop said “…thought today’s workshop was substantive and stimulating; it’s really enjoyable watching good facilitation in action…”

While it would be easy to suggest that this comes to us naturally, I would be leaving you with a false impression.  The very same is true in job search.

Job search requires that you know your target employer, research them, plan to connect and correspond with them and that you implement an effective job search strategy. The final stage: that you evaluate your performance to uncover ways to improve your success in the days, week, months, and years ahead.

Related Categories: Job Search, Uncategorized