Think of the most boring human you've ever heard. The more they talked, the more you disengaged. You may have even caught yourself falling asleep. If they notice, eventually they might ask, "Isn't that right?" You cautiously nod in agreement. That's their encouragement to continue.
We've all met people like this. I've caught myself doing it. Maybe you've done it once or twice, yourself.
Here's the good news: this condition is curable.
Make It About Them, Not You
It's the listener's choice to pay attention to your message. Give them a reason to pay attention, by making the conversation about them. Here are three examples:
- When you tell a story, make the audience the hero of your story. Let them see themselves riding off into the sunset on the white horse.
- When you present a product, make the buyer the hero as they use your product.
- When you're telling the judge why you were speeding, give her a chance to be the hero by granting you mercy.
Your Profitable Homework Assignment
Get out a piece of paper and a pencil. Use the three examples above, to sharpen your skills:
- Write a story about an adventure you had. Write it so that the audience says, "I could be the hero in that story. They succeeded, and so can I."
- Write the outline of a product presentation. Include examples of how the product enriches the lives of the buyers. Present your product in a compelling manner that makes the buyer say, "That product was made with me in mind. I can see myself getting the benefits of using that product. Where is my checkbook?"
- Write the script of your presentation to the judge. Show dignity and respect as you explain why you were speeding. Do it in a way that makes you human. Admit your mistake, and ask the court for mercy. Give the judge the opportunity to be human, also, by granting you mercy. (Afterwards, thank the judge and get out of there as quickly as you can.)
When it's about the audience, they pay attention and make the right decision.