End “The Lone Wolf Syndrome”: 5 Tips to Step On The Stage Alone, but Leave with Fans, Followers, and Clients!
Listen, I don’t want to make you more nervous than you already are about speaking live, but … I want you to know that when you book a gig, you are signing up to be the lone wolf, in a them-versus-you challenge.
THEM: Your audience has an innate bond to one another even if they’ve never met before, simply because they are positioned as a group.
People feel safe in groups, and prefer to take action in groups, despite everyone claiming that they like to “think independently”.
YOU: As the speaker, you automatically set yourself apart, just by virtue of being the person in charge of the room.
Your position of power (physical and otherwise) establishes distance between you and your audience.
As a speaker, it IS important to command the room.
At the same time, you don’t want to alienate the room either.
There is a difference between establishing your expert status, and driving a wedge between you and your audience.
Check out these 5 tips for engaging a room to make a connection with your audience:
Stories Stick: When you pass on information as a story, it reaches a different part of the brain than regular data. People don’t really make buying decisions with their brains, they make them with their gut.
One fast way to connect is to be willing to be vulnerable with your truth, and share your personal story so that people can “know you” better, before your dive into your content.
Memory Works in Pictures: If you really people to remember your points, help turn them into pictures through telling stories, or by literally asking them to “picture it”! Vivid & specific details let your audience experience your story with you.
Use phrases like: IMAGINE IF!, IMAGINE YOU FINALLY KNEW HOW TO! & PICTURE THIS!
Ask Don’t Tell: You change roles for a second when you ask your audience a question. Going to them for information will get their attention, and will engage them in what you’re doing on stage. It also requires them to engage so you want to start asking questions in the beginning of your talk so that they know from the get-go that this talk is one to pay attention to.
Use phrases like: How many of you….? By a quick of hands…, Raise your hand if you’ve ever…..
Get People Interacting: Try conducting a quick networking activity, exercise, or survey. Have people share their answers with each other or volunteer to share them with the room. This is a great way to change the energy of your talk, and create interaction in the room. As long as YOU LEAD, and don’t let the room get away from you.
Shake It Up!: Rather than just providing all the information to your room, make your audience THINK…..REALLY THINK!
Try a “Wow!” demo and show em instead of just telling them.
Like OxyClean getting stains out, Ginsu Knives cutting through the soda can, or the Crazy Glue guy hanging from the beam high above the ground…. a wow demo gets your attention!
Try a shocking statistic, share a thought-provoking quote, shocking picture, or give them a puzzle.
Make a great point, in a way that’s WAY MORE INTERESTING than just saying, “Hey! This glue is really strong.”
Overcome the them-versus-you challenge by learning to engage your audience while you’re teaching them. When you make an emotional connection, people are much more likely to want to move forward with you.
You want your talk to say, “Sit up and listen to me! This is serious stuff.” Make the effort to engage your audience on a variety of levels. Create the connection you need to get everyone on your side, and just watch the difference you make at the back table.
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