Imagine this: You’ve just picked up your office phone and heard a request to…
- Keynote your company’s annual leadership conference
- Serve as a panel member for a national event
- Pitch your company’s next “big” piece of business
- Speak at your next board of directors meeting
- Gain organizational support for a critical change of strategy
To influence your audience in high-stakes situations like these, you first must start with your own mindset. Are you committed to helping your audience truly “get it,” or do you view your participation as simply one more assignment to be crossed off your list?
The commitment of “getting it”
Even enthusiastic presenters can sometimes overlook the importance of having your listeners truly grasp your message. For speakers, “getting it” is a commitment to yourself and your audience — it is recognizing the influence you have, and sincerely wanting to connect with your listeners and inspire them to action.
On the other hand, simply aiming to “get through it” is not the engaged mindset of the successful high-stakes speaker. And your intention — or lack thereof — is certain to come through in your presentation. If you are distracted and not personally engaged, your audience will allow their minds to wander to more pressing matters as well.
It’s like the difference between presenting data to an audience versus providing knowledge. One is simply a laundry list of numbers or facts, while the other provides something much more valuable — context for the data, as well as a skilled interpretation of why it matters.
Start with the end in mind
When you “get it,” you know exactly the end result you want to achieve. It might be persuading reluctant stakeholders to embrace a new strategy, or building renewed enthusiasm among your first-line support staff. Regardless of the particulars of your mission-critical assignment, it’s all about considering your audience and the actions you want to drive.
And because this audience-centric approach will have you exploring new ways to engage and involve your listeners, it can only serve to excite and engage you as well. Rather than simply “getting past it,” chances are you’ll find yourself using all your resources to ensure the audience truly understands the importance of the topic at hand. When you get it, they get it.
The moment when things click
It’s amazing what happens the minute you commit to “getting it” rather than getting through it. Your presentation style becomes more authentic, eye contact increases, gestures are purposeful and spontaneous. Everything clicks to support your core message.
In short, you’ll be your best self — in the moment and relating to your audience with power and purpose.
Now…go get ‘em!