Do You Know Your Target Audience?
Knowing your audience is key to communicating whether it’s in a business setting, a professional speaking forum or one-on-one communication.
I was umpiring an elite level high school baseball game recently and witnessed a tremendous example of a coach knowing his audience – and maximizing its effectiveness.
During the middle of an inning, the catcher had asked for time-out so he could go and talk to his pitcher. That left the batter and me alone at home plate. There were two outs in the inning and no baserunners. The coach yelled out from his dugout to the batter a series of three numbers.
Those numbers coincide with specific plays on the batters’ wrist card, such as “bunt,” “steal,” “throw a curve ball” and other specific baseball plays.
With no baserunners and two outs, it’s not like there were any legitimate signals for the batter.
Brandon looked at the play card on his wrist to find out what matched-up with the three numbers.
Knowing there were no real circumstantial signs that would be appropriate for the batter at that moment, I asked him jokingly if his coach had given him the non-existent “home run sign.”
He responded, “Coach gave me the sign to ‘take a deep breath.’”
I asked him if that was for real. “Yes sir” the batter responded.
There I was, watching a high school baseball coach using his team’s “secret” signal system to calm his player’s nerves.
It was brilliant!
It was obvious at that moment that this coach thoroughly understands his target audience so well and masterfully communicates with them in ways most people wouldn’t even realize – all in an effort to maximize their performance.
Too bad that doesn’t happen everywhere.