Dealing with an audience is never as simple as it seems. We often take the things we know and have experienced and assume that the audience has experienced the same things. This can put up barriers of communication and can ruin any video. Complexity is the demise of corporations.
On December 4, 2012 I stopped in Vegas to get a little education at the SMX conference. I had just flown in from Dallas, where I had experienced a great workshop. The speakers were motivational. I left Dallas with a plan and some great ideas. When I arrived at the Aria in Vegas I saw an overwhelming crowd rushing into a conference room. I joined them and found myself sitting in the conference being held by Expedia, imagine that. How exciting for me to be able to listen in on a conference held by a huge corporation. I wasn’t an employee nor did I know anything about Expedia’s culture but I am a customer or should I say- I was a customer. My time in the conference room did not last. I was kicked out after the guy next to me saw I was taking notes on the speech of David Roche, the President of Hotwire.com. The reality is Expedia should have more customers sit in on their conferences. If they did, they just might change their message.
You see, I love seeing successful men get up and present in front of audiences it’s very inspiring. From what I could find on the internet, David Roche is a very successful business man. I set some high expectations for his speech and was looking to be moved. However, my expectations were quickly shut down. His speech was complicated and didn’t make much sense. Words like jargon, confusion, non-educational, and boring kept coming into my mind. He never mentioned one thing about me, the customer, nor did he mention anything about the employees. As the speech went on I became extremely bored, but I was not the only one. The audience, Expedia’s own, was yearning for entertainment and real education, which go hand in hand. He spoke nothing about making customers happy or the employees happy. He didn’t relate to them. No stories, no testimonials, no example- just plain confusion.
Remember that the audience isn’t always in on the story. Don’t make them feel like the third wheel with two friends who only speak with “inside jokes.” Speak to your audience in the way that you would want your product explained to you if it was the first time you’ve ever learned about it. Don’t be condescending either, just informative and patient. =)