How to Connect With Your Audience
When talking with clients, I often hear the complaint that they have a hard time communicating their value, their story, or their mission to the people they are trying to reach.
How do we truly connect with people on a deeper level?
We do this by trying to understand the beliefs and values of a person. Going into their shoes to understand their thought process on how general ideas should work and function. It seems rare to find this in today’s self-focused world. The reason we can’t connect with others on a deeper communicable basis can be blamed on our self-centered nature. There are three main barriers to connecting with people.
When you assume you already know what the argument is on the opposing side you miss out on what could be a well thought through argument that challenges your beliefs. It makes the listener feel like they are not being listened to, so why should they listen to you?
People do not appreciate arrogant people. They are looked upon as selfish and out to get the world’s riches however they can. This can cause an audience to ignore your credibility and find your arguments and statements invalid.
Indifference can cause a number of issues when trying to connect with people. It disallows you to see past what you don’t agree on to see the areas that you both agree on and feel heard. Feel, Felt, Found, Find
These characteristics that we can portray deeply hinder our ability to connect with our audience.
Make the message clear
Teachers generally take something simple and make it complicated, but the goal of the communicator (YOU) is to take something very complicated and make it simple…really simple. If communicators can keep the message clear and simple then half the battle has already been won! There is less room for the listener to misunderstand your message or make assumptions as to what you “actually” meant because you spoke to the point, connected with them, and portrayed very clear intentions. Follow this rule of thumb from John Maxwell.
Keep your messages short. Nobody wants to hear a long boring dissertation on a topic that you’re an expert in.
Keep your messages light-hearted. Add some humor, life, or joy into the conversation. People will appreciate this one, and it will make you feel more comfortable when you are speaking as well.
Important points need to be stressed. You may sound like a broken record but I guarantee that people will not forget the purpose of your speech if you use this tool. This will also force you to KNOW the main point of your speech and not aimlessly talk about whatever you can think of.
Use these connectors to make the message clear and simple. Your audience will thank you for it.
Make it interesting
Refrain from being boring
You want to leave an enjoyable experience in others minds after they are communicated with. If you want to do this you CANNOT be boring.
Use key words
Keywords are meant to entice the listener and keep their attention pointed towards the message. Theses words are either action words or words that will evoke emotion about the topic. Use them well and you will increase listener engagement and critical thinking.
Make it interactive
It isn’t just what you have to say, but also understanding what others are saying and feeling about the situation or topic as well. Get the audience involved to get a good feel of where they are and how you can best share your message to connect with them. This will keep your listeners engaged and ready for more and will fuel your ability to communicate your message in a meaningful way.