Audience Profile

Audience Profile

What is the Audience Profile story tactic?

Know your audience. You can't tell the right story if you don't know what your audience needs.

Don't fall into the trap of assuming that, because you find something interesting, your audience will too. This is selfish and a surefire way to bore people. Any time spent getting to know your audience is never time wasted.

Go deeper into how your audience might react to your ideas with Innovation Curve.

How to use the Audience Profile story tactic

David Ogilvy, the British advertising genius, wrote the ticking clock headline for Rolls Royce after spending days trawling through engineers' reports. His lesson for storytellers: do your homework. Here's why the advert worked:

  1. Create a profile of the audience for your story:

    • Basic info: name, age, gender, income, job role

    • Problems: what are you going to help them with?

    • Positives: what are their hopes, values and ambitions that might make them view your idea in a good light?

    • Negatives: what are their fears and anxieties that may put them off your idea?

    • What do they do or say already about your idea?

  2. Can you connect with your audience by telling a story about someone else like them? (Simple Sales Stories)

  3. Who should tell your story? Who would you trust: the boss who says "my product is great" or the customer who says "this product is great"? (Go deeper with Social Proof)

  4. Is it OK for you to tell someone else's story? There are two ways to see this:

    • No, this is a form of stealing. You can't speak authentically without lived experience.

    • Yes, we are empathetic creatures. Stories allow us to walk a mile in another person's shoes.

  5. Don't assume either way. How hard is it to say "I'd like to tell your story about X to Y. Is that OK?" Use your Story Bank to keep track of whose story you are telling to which audience.

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Audience Profile is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

Ditch dull presentations and tell great stories that influence and inspire your team, stakeholders and customers.