|Circenses trapese artists|
Wellington came alive a few weeks ago as the Festival of the Arts set up home in our vibrant city. My husband and I were invited to the unique Circenses, an old fashioned big top from Belgium’s Circus Ronaldo.
On arrival, the audience was divided up; half were seated front stage and half were seated backstage, then after the interval we swapped around. If you were front stage you watched as the performers engaged you with their humour and artful circus acts- like throwing axes and knives around some poor luckless chap standing against a piece of wood!
The behind- the- scenes- audience had quite a different experience. Here, not only were you privy to the numerous and humorous back-stage dramas, but some of the audience members became reluctant performers as they were dragged out of their seats to perform cameo roles to the audience in the front.
My point in sharing all of this, is that the performers knew their audience. They crafted their act to engage the audience in each of the different contexts and as I was reflecting on this, I thought what a great example for us, as communicators, to follow.
Too often we write or speak for our own benefit or ego. We use our business language such as legalese, jargon, or corporate speak to share messages with people who may never have come in contact with our business before. We think it sounds impressive and important, so those that hear the message must think so too. Wrong!
If we took a step back and put ourselves in our target audience’s shoes and asked ourselves, ‘would these people understand this language, or process or sentiment I am trying to convey,’ we might get a better response to our communication.
If we are to be good communicators, we need to take responsibility for the receiver to understand our message. To do this, we must know our audience and target our communication to them. Big fancy words are not impressive if no one understands them. Our audience won’t be wowed if our corporate speak or in-house jargon just sounds like gobbledygook.
To be successful, our messages must meet the needs of the people we want it to target. We need to adjust the style, organisation, tone, approach and design of our communication to their reading or listening habits.
So let’s be more like the performing artists. Appeal to our audiences, engage with them, include them and enjoy them.