Master Your Message Blog

Persuade Your Audience Challenge #1 – Drivers

The Driver Personality Style – A Manager, Perhaps Your Boss 

SELF Personality Style - the driverYour message should be tweaked based on who your audience is. If you’re delivering a presentation to a marketing group, it’s got to be positioned differently than if you’re delivering to a room of engineers. And your style of delivery should change—for maximum impact.

How? It depends on your audience’s personality style.

I’m going to use the descriptive name, “Driver,” for this personality style. This is one of the four basic styles. These are people that both need to direct (at the top of the matrix) and “need people less.” In other words, they don’t have a burning need to be surrounded by others.

Drivers: Like to be in control, need people less.

Having an audience of drivers can be a scary proposition, depending upon what your personality style is.

Drivers tend to be managers of one type or another. (You’ll find that I speak in generalities when I describe any of these personality styles – there are always exceptions).

Generally, they’re conservative and organized. They pride themselves in being efficient. They’re always very busy. In fact, they typically have more projects on their plates than they can handle – except that somehow, they usually do manage to get them completed well and on schedule. They’re deadline driven, quick decision-makers, impatient about details, and bottom-line oriented.

Drivers are administrators, very efficient and organized, focused on the bottom line, and impatient about details.

For most of the presentations that are given within a business organization, this is the ultimate audience – they’re the ones that will make the final decision.

If you’d like to take a personality “quiz” on the National Seminars website to find out what area of the matrix you align with, go to The SELF Quiz and sign in. You’ll get to take the SELF quiz at no charge.

As a presenter, you’d better be to-the-point, know exactly what you’re asking for, and yield to their need to be in control. It’s their show. Be accommodative. If you get into a disagreement with them, you’ll lose.

Also, don’t be too “chatty.” They consider small talk to be a waste of time. I know—I’m one of this group. The more direct you are, the better. These are the people who want to know the bottom line in thirty seconds or less. Think about the president of your organization—they tend to come from this group.

So, for all you relators (the personality style diametrically opposed), let this be a warning. They don’t care what Mary had to undergo to secure that new client. They care that we got a new client but more likely care more about the projected profit figures. They’re going to want to bottom line, with little or no fat. 

Even at the best of times, drivers and relators get along like oil and water. That tends to be the norm more often than not.

Here are some words to use that drivers will relate to:

• Control

• Flexibility

• Work

• Bottom line

• Power

• Challenge

• Speed

• Money

• Functional

• Results

• Goals

• Options

• Quickly

• Freedom

• Immediately

Your message will be successful only if your audience deems it important – only if it has impact. This depends on the situation, your audience and their perspective, your style of delivery, your content, presentation structure, and the words you use—but, most importantly, the message itself. You must be sensitive to what’s going on around you; you need to “connect” with your audience on their level to be successful. Your message must reflect all of these variables.

The more you know about your audience, the greater the odds you’ll succeed. 

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