What’s the first rule of audince connection? Deliver an engaging speaking presentation. How? By observing the simple rule of what it feels like to chase versus being chased.
Situation A: Engaging Speaking Presentation
You may have experienced this from time to time.
- You go to hear someone speak.
- You walk in unfamiliar with the content or the speaker.
- Polite, skeptical but open-minded, you continue to listen.
- They say something and your mood changes.
You lean in with more interest and before you know it – you are magnetized by their presence and/or their compelling message.
Situation B: Chasing the Audience
You may have experienced this from time to time.
- You speak to someone or a group, hoping to convince them of something.
- You are convinced that what you have to offer works for them.
- You have the backing of mathematics, science and logic that your proposal will work for them.
You get little or no response or they verbally disagree with you.
Why was the Situation A speaker successful?
Was it the speaker’s unique personality or inexplicable and hard-to-duplicate charisma?
Is it worth your time to learn to speak like Speaker A?
Could you possibly train to speak like that?
The answer is probably yes.
There are four basic rules to inspiring and engaging others.
I will give you one rule for now.
The First Rule: observe rules on chasing and being chased.
Most speakers, salespeople, business owners, and marketing people tend to chase after their
The same applies to parents of children and teens and the same applies to the world
We tend to chase after people when we want them to do something or to buy into something.
But the normal reaction or response when someone chases after you is to run away.
- The more you try to convince someone about why they should listen to you, the more they run away.
- The more you try to tell them about why your product or service works, the more they run away.
- The more you pursue a love interest, the more they may tend to run away from you.
- The more you try to convince you teen-ager to adopt a healthy practice, the more they run away from you.
Is this true all the time? Of course not. There are exceptions of course.
I think we can all agree that for the most part, it is true.
How do you become like Speaker A above?
I will give you one solution for now.
The solution: Stop trying to Convince – Start Engaging in Conversation.
Why do you engage in conversation?
Because people want to feel like you are meeting them in their living room – their world – where
their problems, challenges, vision, dreams and life occurs.
If you try to have them come to your world of solutions too soon, they will be less willing to do so
as they are pretty comfortable and safe where they are at right now – in their living room, so to speak.
How do you engage in conversation?
Prepare yourself to step away when you need to.
Being willing to step away from the conversation gives you and the other person(s)
choice in the matter. Very often when we walk into a presentation, we are almost
compelled to continue convincing and talking when it is clear (or not clear) that
the other party is not listening, resisting you OR not willing to continue in the conversation.
When you are willing to step away and you do, people will now have the tendency to either
chase after you OR enjoy the experience of choice that you gave them.
This builds both
curiosity and freedom around you as a speaker, making it VERY safe for them to approach
How do you prepare to step away?
- Being clear that what you offer is GREAT and MEANINGFUL for your audience in your world.
- Being clear that your intention is to enable people to choose to engage with you if they want to.
- Being clear that it is possible that your audience may be the wrong people to talk to – they may not need you or your solution. But there may be other solutions or other audiences to tackle – and that may be okay to discover so you can be more effective next time.
Ask questions with proper framing.
The art and science of asking questions to engage is important to master.
Ask easy questions first. Build up to more complex questions as you go. A few questions you could ask include:
- “Before I start, what can I do for you in this conversation that would be easy as a first step
to help you move forward or make your life easier?”
- “What would you like to see happen in the next x months or days?”
- “What are your primary challenges you think that are holding you back?”
- “Are these important enough to handle for now?”
- “Are you okay with me proposing some solutions for you today – that may leave you excited,
I admire you for reading this article. It takes guts to confront where and why
one is not effective with others.
It also takes practice and fine-tuning over time.
Rome was not conquered in one day.
And neither may your ability to speak effectively be conquered in one day.
Since 1991, I’ve been reflecting on, designing, and implementing methodologies and systems for bringing a transcendent, creative and innovative approach to critical aspects of entrepreneurship.