How to tell your audience to NOT listen to you II

We’ve been going for a few sessions already with this thought leader. Now we’re onto the next stage!

Have 3 main points – check.

Be relevant to the audience – check.

Use examples that will support the objective to achieve the intended outcome – check.

Use language appropriate to her audience – check.

Problem is, yesterday, I still found myself getting distracted. I started thinking about my next client, the rest of my to-do list for the day. In that split second when my mind wanders, I brought myself back (I guess it’s easier for me than a normal audience to ‘come back’, since I was paid to do the job? lol) I realised, she’s like a machine gun!

I read in the bible of communication – Made To Stick (an amazing book, by the way. Anyone on earth that needs to interact with another individual should read it (unless you only work with animals or objects? :-p) that when it’s the same, the brain switches off. Our brains are designed to pay attention to changes, as a primal protection for us from natural dangers. E.g. you don’t pay any attention what-so-ever to the streets you walk down every day, but if there’s a giraffe there one day, you’d pay attention. Or you don’t pay attention to your colleagues, but if one day they show up wearing a big bowler hat, you’d pay attention, right?

It dawned on me. I told my client, ‘you remember when you were young, at school, when the classroom was very chaotic and no one is listening to the teacher? The teacher yells, trying to get through the sea of noise?

Then suddenly he gives up, coz he’s been screaming at the top of his lung for 10 minutes. So he’s angry. He stays quiet.

All of a sudden, all the students realise the teacher isn’t speaking anymore. They stop the chatters. They turn to see what happens. They stare at the teacher, finally paying attention.’

That’s right. We pay attention to silences, because we pay attention when something is different. On the stage we are speaking the whole time, and the audience expects us to. So when we pause, they listen.’

Talk non stop if you don’t want anyone to listen to you!


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