Let's cut right to the chase of this article. There are five 'P's in motivating your audience. Whether your audience is a room of fifty to five hundred, an employee or a prospective client, you need to take them through these five 'P's to motivate them.
o PAY ATTENTION - First on the list is to ensure they are paying attention to you. Before you can motivate anyone they have to listen to you. In today's world of voice-mail, email, snail mail, telephone, cell phone and headphones, it is getting harder and harder for one to listen and be listened to. The reasons people do not really listen are numerous and include things like being preoccupied with work or family issues. Or perhaps they have a physical limitation such as hearing problems, which could be compounded by external noise. Then there are internal reasons, such as the listener does not see the obvious benefits of what you are sharing, or worse they though they heard you say something you didn't.
To help your audience listen:
o Be enthusiastic!! In studies done at Stanford University 15% of successful sales were the result of knowledge. But a whooping 85% were the result of good old enthusiasm.
o Speak to them in their language. Using five syllable words that one only learns in university (and only uses there) can quickly loose a majority of your audience - or again they could assume the meaning of the unknown word and walk away with a completely different message from what you were trying to communicate.
o Start off your speech/conversation/presentation by getting them to think right away. This works even better if what you get them engaged in links directly to your message. In a recent seminar I gave I was sharing with the audience how what you think affects how you feel. I started off the presentation by getting the audience to stand up and act as if they were wearing a super-hero cape. To imagine they had on the classic crime fighter's long flowing red or black cloak. You could see the transformation on the faces and chests (as they puffed out) of those willing to really engage in the exercise. Get them involved in your message quickly!
o PERCIEVE - OK they are listening, but what if they cannot grasp or perceive your message? Well then they will be stuck on the first P - pay attention. If they get stuck on that first P for too long you will loose them. To help your audience understand your information, be sure to organize it in an easy to understand format. Keep your main points limited to three or four, most will not remember more than four anyway. Another good way to improve your audience's perception of your material is to theme it. Check out the article "Theme It!" for more information on this. To get a copy send a email to mailto:email@example.com
o PERSUADE - They are listening and even understanding. Next you need persuade them. They need to accept what your sharing as fact and believe it as such. The key ingredients to your believability are your credibility, your passion and your logic. When you mix these ingredients into your presentation your audience will be more likely to believe you and to be persuaded to your call to action - more on that in a moment. On credibility - always stand on firm solid factual ground - if your facts are questionable share that. Then share your position on why you're including the facts. This level of disclosure will keep you out of trouble and give the audience a level of comfort with you and your material. As for passion - well this comes back to being enthusiastic but it also speaks more towards reaching in and making them feel your words with appropriate stories and analogies. Check out the article "Make Them Feel Your Words!" for more information on this. To get a copy send a email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
o PRESERVE - Here is a pivotal issue that we all tangle with - getting people to remember the information. Some key ways to get your material preserved in the minds of your audience are: Repeat, repeat, and repeat. Tell them what your going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. Use visuals and get them involved in the material. People tend to remember, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they hear AND see. But most importantly they remember 80% of what they hear, see AND do. Create an activity that gets the audience involved. An activity that will allow them to not only reach the same conclusions you are presenting. But it allows them to do it for themselves. While someone may argue your position - they generally will not argue there own.
o PROCEED - Get your audience to proceed with some action! So many times I listened to outstanding presentations and outstanding presenters that walked away from their speech without giving their audience a call to action. Do not walk away from your audience without giving them a call to action. Your listeners will be far more likely to take that action if you directly ask them to. They will be more likely to take action if you ask them to right away while they are still motivated by the preceding four 'P's you have built upon to get them to this point.
Again, whether your audience is a room of fifty or five hundred, an employee or a prospective client, you need to take them through these five 'P's:
Get them to PAY ATTENTION
Make sure your audience can correctly PERCEIVE your message
PERSUADE them to your side
Format your information so it can be PRESERVED in their memory
Give them a call to action so they can PROCEED the way you would like them to.
Follow the five 'P's and you will be PROUD of the POLISHED PRODUCT!
Think Successfully & Take Action!