Getting An Audience To Care
I’ve had a LOT of experience with this topic – getting an audience to care when I’m the speaker. This is a basic requirement of excellence for public speakers, and so it didn’t surprise me when I saw my JV partner, Avish Parashar blogging on the topic recently.
“Take the time up front to let you know why they should care. This could be the difference between a bored audience with glazed over expressions and an engaged group that hangs on every word you says – and hires you back!”
And I agree whole-heartedly. I also agree with his list of three ways to get an audience to care about a topic, which is defining the problem, helping them feel the pain of it, and introducing the benefits of changing it:
“Let them know the scope of the current problem. Tell them what’s going on right now in their industry or organization relative to your talk, and why it is important.
Make them feel the pain of not changing. Tell them what will happen if they don’t listen to you and take your advice and just keep on with “business as usual.”
Have them feel the benefits of changing. Give them some positive vibes by letting them know what life and business can be like if they follow your content.”
Over the years, I have developed my own formulae for accomplishing these three important items up front, right at the beginning of a speech. Launching into my material prior to setting the stage this way is usually a mistake.