It helps, she said, to think of the audience as a person. To paraphrase her examples: the late crowd in the comedy club might be a drunk man. A gentler group in a more upmarket venue could be a diner in a vegetarian restaurant. And one can then adapt and adjust one’s style on stage to strike the right note and have the right conversation.
I immediately made the connection to our world, and I think I’ll try this out in proposal strategy workshops moving forward. “Were the client a person, who would they be?”
I’ve done bids to evaluation teams who seem to be aloof, superior and ‘know it all’. I’ve done others to teams who seem to be in panic mode, desperate for help. Yet more can seem distant, slightly uncertain of themselves. Some come across as confident yet engaging.
Perhaps just the characteristics would be enough. Perhaps we could come up with a caricature (verbal, or sketched). Or maybe even we could try to come up with specific names: “This bid’s going to Winston Churchill”. “The client here's James Bond”. “This lot are Voldemort”.
Politicians, actors, comedians, literary figures, movie characters, musicians, sportspeople – the imagination could run riot. I’m curious to see how it’ll work out. If you try it yourself, let me know. And if you can put a face to the name for any of your recent proposals, do tell!