Believe it or not, I’m an introvert, content to be on my own working behind the scenes. I work every day to overcome this in my business. I mean, let’s be honest, being in direct sales you need to be out sharing and talking to people, right?
I never thought I would or could command an audience. When I think of an audience, I think of standing in front of a large group of people speaking – YIKES! The knees start to shake, I get nervous and totally forget what I am trying to say. Without even knowing it, we command an audience…
- Are you a mom or dad? Your family is an audience.
- Have a job? Your co-workers are an audience.
- Own a business? Your employees and customers are audiences.
When I put things in this perspective, it is a little bit easier to swallow. The list goes on because an audience can be just one person you are talking to. I love Andy Andrews! When I first saw him a Thirty One’s National Conference, I wanted to soak up everything he said. The memory may not be great BUT I do read everything he puts out. Some things stick with me while others I need to re-read lots of time.
He has an actual formula for commanding an audience no matter the size of the audience.
1. You want the audience to view you as a friend.
Do you feel like you need to have an answer for everything? Are you a “know it all”? Did you know the way your audience see you can determine how successful you are? When your audience identifies with you or see you as a friend, they are more likely to be nice and engage in conversation. Think about the people you enjoy being around. Then consider each situation from your audience’s point of view and make an effort to be friends with them, you will win their hearts.
2. You always want to actively engage your audience.
Do you get distracted talking to people (a group or event one person)? You must ACTIVELY keep your audience engaged the whole time you are talking with them. It can be stressful, right? I tend to lose focus now with the MS and as a result, I tend to lose my audience. So, I am working on way to acknowledge the distraction or “squirrel moment” so I can get back on track (for me and for them).
When I am talking to a small group (like at a home party), I used to stand in the front of the room – almost frozen in place, afraid to move. Now, I walk around and talk to people while sharing the products. If someone responds to something I said, I may walk over and share the product with them or try to engage them further in conversation.
The truth is despite my best efforts, I will become distracted or my audience will so I have to be ready to deal with it before it happens.
3. Communicate “what’s in it for them.”
When it comes to reading, watching, or listening, we only pay attention to things of interest, or those which affect us, or benefit us. I mean, you aren’t interested in something, how long are you going to continue to listen or are you going to zone out?
Let your audience know what they will get from you (or the conversation). If you simply tell them—they will show interest. Sounds easy, right? The key is to take the focus off of you and share what THEY want. I have been doing this at my Thirty One parties but talking with the hostess before hand to get her favorites or the things she thinks might be of interest to her guests. It has made a BIG difference in the interactions during a party.
The key is to Always keep “what’s in it for them” in the top of your mind. Tell the the value of your information upfront and it will not only keep their attention but it will also help you to focus your message on the key points.
If you want to make an impact, you must learn to engage and interest your audience.
What are your best tips for keeping your audience engaged or interested? Share them with us.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!