EYN#013 - 4 Ways To Deal With a Mixed Audience

Dec 05, 2023

Read Time: 3 mins

I've been asked this question so many times it's worth it's own newsletter.

How to you present to an audience with hugely varied personas in it?  People with different roles, different interests and different technical knowledge.

You might know, I'm a huge advocate of knowing your audience, and tailoring your content to be relevant to the audience that's in front of you.  But how do you do that when you've got senior leaders, deep tech engineers, representatives from the business and somone's grandma in there too.


Well here's some approaches that might help:


1. Get The Right People In The Room - Separate Out Audiences

When you're asked to present, one of the first questions you should ask is "Who is in the audience?".  If you discover the audience is mixed, ask whether you can deliver 2 or more sessions instead of one.  Take control and logically separate the persona's in a way where you can be most relevant.

Deliver several highly relevant sessions that hit the mark for each audience.  Get the right people in each room.


  • Highly relevant content delivered to each persona.
  • Deep "How" content for those that need the detail.
  • Higher level "What" and "Why" content for those that want to hear that.


  • Multiple sessions take more time to deliver. 
  • More preparation required.  Creating tailored content for different personas takes time.
  • You don't always have the choice.  Many circumstance mean only one session can be delivered e.g time, geography, customer choice.


2. Tailor And Signpost Sections In One Session

Split your presentation into multiple sections and clearly signpost what each section covers.  For example deliver "What" and "Why" content to begin with.  Then clearly signpost that you're moving into "How" section that has more detail for the last 20 mins.  Maybe some folks might want to leave.  This means each audience gets highly relevant information but knows when the bit they care about is on.



  • Highly relevant content delivered to each persona.
  • Deep "How" content for those that need the detail.
  • Higher level "What" and "Why" content for those that want to hear that.



  • People might need to sit through irrelevant content and waste some time.
  • Sections of the audience might be disengaged for periods of the presentation.


3. Focus On The Decision Maker

With this technique you design the content for the decision maker in the room and everyone else is welcome to listen, but they're not your focus.  The content is tailored and highly relevant to your decision maker.  You're selecting just one persona.



  • Highly relevant content for main decision maker.
  • Decision maker does not waste any time.



  • In reality there are often multiple decision makers, that want to hear different aspects.
  • Can be a bit awkward if you lock on to the decision maker and neglect everyone else.
  • It can be a bit more risky


4. Lowest Common Denominator - Keep It High Level

You talk about things that everyone can understand.  You work out the "lowest common denominator" of the room and aim it at them.



  • Content can take less time to create and deliver than multiple sessions.
  • Content is somewhat relevant to everyone.
  • Can still create emotional connection with people with good choice of high level content.


  • Content can lack depth and substance.
  • Content can be a bit beige and generic.
  • Less engagement and value created by presentation.


Option 1 and Option 2 are my favourites. 

If you can be proactive, get the right people in the right room.  Then tailor content to each audience.  Whether that be a conference, a sales pitch or an education session.


If you can't do that, then create sections in your presentation and signpost them right from the start.  Make sure everyone entering the room (physically or digitally) knows this is going to happen before they join.


Failing that, then think about how you can make options 3 and 4 work.

Well there we go.


Hope this helps





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