Master Your Message Blog

Persuade Your Audience Challenge #2 – Initiators

Initiator – A Gift for the Gab 

SELF initiator personality style

Your 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. 

An audience of initiators are the most fun audience you’ll ever have. They’re outgoing, have great imaginations, and are always up for a good time. They’re the life of the party.

Then again, if you’re a member of the opposite personality style group, you might not think so. You might think of them as loud or pushy, a bit arrogant, maybe, and somewhat superficial – not a lot of depth there.

Initiators: Like to be in control, need people more.

These are the most creative group of the four styles. They’re very quick to get involved, like to be the center of attention, and are always coming up with new ideas. Advertising agencies are full of them. They’re the accounts execs or sales people in a company.

Initiators are energetic, enterprising, creative, and quick to respond. They’re communicators.

I used to do a lot of work for Superpages, the telephone director company. It was as company full of initiators. The internal presentations were always very lively, with lots of energy. If you have a creative or sales oriented group as an audience, you need to keep them on track. Their minds can wander if you don’t.

They tend to be very spontaneous and are the first to initiate a discussion. However, after the decision has been made, they’re the worst to follow up. You’ll have to stay on top of them.

Now, if you’re an analyst, that’s a problem. Initiators and analysts clash—they’re opposites.

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.

Analysts (diagonally opposed on the matrix above) are much quieter, not generally outgoing. Initiators find them downright boring.

But here’s the dilemma: To be successful, you have to present in the personality style of your audience. So analysts need to ramp it up in the boisterous department. Ok … boisterous? Well, that’s not likely to happen. But, analysts have to bring energy to their presentations.

As an analyst, you’re typically interested in detail, initiators are not. Give them a dream … you’ll have them eating out of your hand.

Here are some words to use that they’ll relate to:

• Entertaining

• Creative

• Friendly

• Simple

• Incredible

• Exclusive

• Improved

• Prestige

• Fun

• New

• Ultimate

• Spontaneous

• Exciting

• Enjoyable

• Cash

• Adventure

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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