How to make your audience feel like they’re in the right place

Remember the One Question, the one thing that’s on everyone’s mind. The one problem they’re trying to solve, the reason they asked you to speak.

Then tell a story that basically goes, A. I had that question myself once, and B. here’s how I solved it, and C. now I’m here to help you solve it, too.

For example:

Tell a story about how, years ago, when you first started in this line of work, you didn’t know the answer. Get specific. Tell the audience a funny story about how you were a stupid kid when you started out.

(Don’t worry, they know you’re not a stupid kid anymore, that’s why they asked you to speak.)

Then tell a story about how you found XYZ, and how you realized it could solve the problem.

Then tell a story about how it did solve the problem, and now you love XYZ, and you want to tell the whole world about XYZ.

Remember, you’re not God Almighty, standing up there dispensing wisdom to a bunch of children. Some of your audience members know your subject almost as well as you do. In fact, they might even know it better, or at least better from a different angle.

What you are doing is telling your audience that you understand them, that you think about the same things they do, and that you can help them. Do that, and they will be thinking, “This is the man (or woman) I need to talk to, this is the one who can help me solve my problem.”

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