This weekend, my wife and I dropped off our kids at two separate summer programs. In both cases, we were impressed with the orderly arrival and check-in process. The clear signage, concise instructions and smiling staff members helped us feel confident that we had chosen the right places for our kids.
It was a great example of how thoughtful hosts can influence their guests right from the start. This is a lesson we can apply as communicators. When we create communication experiences, it's our responsibility as "hosts" to take care of our "guests" - the audience - whether they are visiting our website, attending our meeting, or listening to our presentation.
The process starts by putting ourselves fully into the mindset of our guests. Why are they here? What are they expecting? How can we put them at ease and exceed their expectations?
By remembering to ask these questions, we’re well on our way to creating effective, audience-centered communications. Or in other words, just by thinking of ourselves as hosts, we're more likely to create happy, receptive guests.