Afraid Your Audience Will React Like This? (Here's How to Prevent It)

Have you ever been a part of an audience like this? Ok, so maybe you haven’t been caught picking your teeth in response to a bad keynote, but I bet you’ve experienced the boredom, frustration and disengagement that comes when you hear a stale presentation or a mediocre speaker. 

While you can easily relate to this picture as an audience member, this image can also be your worst nightmare when it’s your turn to take the stage. This dreaded reaction is most noticeable when you’re speaking from an actual platform, but the truth is you can lose connection with your audience anytime you share your message - regardless of the medium.

Is Your Message Stale?

Although your delivery skills matter and impact your ability to influence, audience disengagement can also occur when you get tricked into thinking that you are “done” working on your message and platform.  When this happens, you begin to believe that your same old keynote topics will always be relevant, that your website copy is “good enough” for a few more years and that the language you originally drafted to describe your book and work is still fresh.  

Even though there are high-profile speakers on the circuit still delivering the same speech verbatim from 10 years ago, you won’t be able to get away with it. If your message feels inauthentic, outdated or out of sync with what your audience wants, you will lose connection with them.

How To Keep It Fresh

Successful thought leaders know how to stay up to date with their audience and their market. They also understand that their core message is dynamic, and they actively work to develop, refine and shape it. 

Before you write your next article, prep for your next interview or deliver your next speech, take some time to evaluate your messaging.  Ask yourself:

  • How can I tell the story of my book + work in a fresh new way to speak to the changing needs of my audience?
  • Can I add new stories and examples to my existing keynotes to make them more relevant or timely? (Or, is it time to create a new presentation?)
  • Can I incorporate fresh language and examples to describe my methodology or process in a more powerful way?
  • Does my website copy feel current and up-to-date? Does it convey what I most want clients and followers to know about me and the transformation I help create?

In a rapidly changing world and market, you can’t afford not to keep things fresh and timely. When you do, your audience will thank you and you’ll see better results from your efforts. 

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3 Filters to Expand Your Impact (and Keep You on Track)

When you’re called to make an impact, the pressure can sometimes be blinding. Even when you’re making progress and experiencing results, it can feel like you’re not moving ahead.  When that happens, the internal pressure can cause you to grasp at the latest shiny objects or adopt other successful authors' strategies, hoping they will produce the same results for you. 

Before you realize it, you may find yourself in a situation like this guy - bewildered and wondering how you got there. 

How Clear is Your Vision?

Successful thought leaders know that it’s about more than being a “bestseller for a day” or somehow getting picked by Oprah.  They have a clear vision of the transformation they want to create. 

Beyond helping individual clients or delivering a single keynote, they will not rest until they see the impact of their message + work reflected in the wider industry and world around them. 

If you’re reading this and realizing your vision is not as clear as it should be, stop reading and reconnect to your bigger WHY. 

Choose Your Own Adventure 

Once you’re clear on your bigger vision, the trick is to keep it top of mind and use it as a filter to help you reach your goals. Here are three filters I use with my clients to help them evaluate and choose the right strategies, opportunities and relationships.

Ask Yourself

Is it a fit for my unique skills, gifts and talents?  

While there are some things you can outsource and other things you can improve with expert help, you can’t make yourself into a TV personality if that’s not who you are.

Is it a fit for my message? Will it help me reach my audience?

Just because you’ve heard that Pinterest sends more traffic to some websites than LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean that you’ll find your audience of executives and leaders hanging out there. 

 Am I actually willing to do it? 

Forcing yourself to blog three times a week won’t work if your heart’s not in it. Even though I’m a strong writer, I’ve used teleseminars, webinars and video for the past few years to connect to my audience. Why? Because I had a case of writer’s burnout. 

When you know and stay focused on the transformation you’re called to make, you’ll find your own adventure - and have much more fun in the process.

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