Communicating to Your Audience

Adapt your communication style according to your audience’s information-gathering
tendencies. For example, some people are more focused on the “here and now” and
come to understand things by tangibly seeing, touching and feeling. They ask for specifics
and like order. Therefore, in communicating with them, be orderly and direct (i.e., show
steps in a process), and provide details–facts, figures and evidence. On the other end
of the continuum are people who are more intuitive—they look for the big picture and
relationships, work in bursts, and are more future-oriented. Therefore, discuss the main idea
first, avoid details unless asked and emphasize the possibilities.

So what?

Adapting your communication strategy to different personality types will more
effectively “link” to the needs and tendencies of your audience, thereby increasing the
likelihood that the communication will be effective. Our natural tendency is to use a
communication style that we personally prefer. Strategic communicators, on the other hand,
adapt to the receiver’s style.