Survey Your Webinar Audience - But Ask the Right Question

When preparing a presentation, it's important to understand your audience's needs. And one of the best ways to understand your audience's needs is to ask them! But it's not enough to just ask your audience a question - you must ask the right question. The best question addresses their needs. And their needs vary depending on their knowledge of your topic area.

For example, a novice in this area will be evaluating whether it has any relevance. An expert, on the other hand, is already convinced of its value - they just need to know how to apply it.

More specifically, when somebody's evaluating something, they generally go through four stages:

  1. (Why) Is this right for me at all?
  2. (What) If so, what specifically is the best option for me?
  3. (Who) Who is the right person to offer this service?
  4. (How) How do I work with them?
Make sure you match your survey question to their current level.

For example, if you're a financial planner, your potential clients are asking these four questions:

  1. Do I require financial planning?
  2. If so, exactly what services does a financial planner offer that are right for me?
  3. How do I choose the right financial planner?
  4. How do I work with you?
So, when you're doing your survey to discover their needs, focus on one of these four stages - the one you think applies to most people in your audience.

In the financial planner example, you might ask one of these questions, depending on where you think they are:

  1. "What is your biggest concern about managing your money?"
  2. "What is your biggest question about financial planning?"
  3. "What is your biggest question about choosing a financial planner?"
  4. "What is your biggest question about working with me?"
If you don't pitch your question at the right level, you won't get useful answers - or you might not get any answers at all!

For instance, if your audience is full of people who have never thought about managing their money - let alone engaging the services of a financial planner - there's no point asking them what they would like to know about working with you! Similarly, if you're presenting a new financial product to your existing clients, they just want to know the facts about the product - they don't you to ask them about general money management questions.

This is important for all presentations, but especially so for webinars, where it takes more effort to capture and keep their attention.


I'm an Internet coach for speakers, trainers, thought leaders and other business professionals. Business owners often ask me what to do about the Internet. They know it's important, they know it's affecting their business, but they don't know how - and they don't know what to do about it. I'm an author, speaker, trainer and consultant. Since 1997, I've worked with leading thought leaders, change agents and entrepreneurs, helping them reach more people and leverage their expertise, on and off t...

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