Many are talking. This communication noise distracts from hearing you or even wanting to listen to your message. Being a leader is tough.
Perhaps you’re a Pastor, a speaker, a consultant, or a salesperson. You need to encourage people to want to listen to you. Or they’ll ignore you as part of a noise defense mechanism. The solution? You need to be known for something relevant and needed. That’s why you need to say these critical things each time you have the opportunity to speak:
- Speak the audience’s name. In the introduction, and regularly throughout, you need to call out the audience so they know you’re talking to them. If you say their name, they’ll listen more! This means you need to know your group well. If you have many people listening, you need to identify the stereotypical groups that make up your audience; i.e. personas like “young parents”, “tired people”, “concerned caregiver”. Use the “name” that will capture most.
- Associate with their pains, concerns, or goals. Know (love) your personas so much that you understand what bothers them daily or what they’re trying to accomplish. Remind them consistently that you understand them! Want to endear yourself to them? Admit you struggle with the same things. Tell them a personal story that they will identify with. They’ll lean in to see how you’ve dealt with the issues.
- Remind them why they listen. You believe everyone listening to you will understand the value of what you’re saying. But you’re wrong. An audience needs to be reminded of the solutions you’re giving them. So tell them with the words they’d tell others about the solution. The more you concentrate on one beneficial thread, the more you’ll be known as someone essential. They’ll keep coming back for more. But you must remind them regularly because people forget. Often.
- Point to a benefit at the end. Near the beginning of a discussion or message, tell them you’re going to give them a bonus or valuable “something” at the end. Then tease them along the way about it. In our busy world, we resist staying to the end; unless we know we’re going to get something we’ll need. Watch how many leave a church service or meeting before the end. Or how many stop watching an online presentation early. Give them a good reason to stay.
- Remind them about an online or in-person benefit. You spend valuable resources online and in-person. Make it worthwhile by having critical, beneficial, and needed items that are associated with your thread in both places. Don’t assume those attending in-person will know what’s online for them. Nor online attenders understanding the benefits of attending in-person. You must tell them! During your discussion, stop telling them everything, instead suggest your website has a practical (and surprising) testimonial video to enjoy. Or online, have someone share why they enjoy meeting people in the lobby or small group. They rely on you to tell them!