It was downright devious, definitely bordered on preposterous, and decidedly over the top. Maybe even a little cheesy. Yet the audience gobbled it up.
The speaker gave a brilliant performance. He courted his audience’s emotions. He pushed and pulled on their hot buttons. He pandered to the whimsical fancies of the crowd.
Yes… if you’re looking for a temporary high.
No, not at all. I remembered what he did-but I didn’t get anything meaningful from his talk. In short, it seemed like he was just blowing motivational smoke down into our collective consciousness.
With his deep, thundering preacher’s voice he rhythmically concluded his speech in a poetic cadence. Then he ripped open the front of his shirt ala Hulk Hogan. The buttons danced all over the stage injecting spontaneous combustion to his ending.
And the crowd roared with abundant enthusiasm…
They chanted. They cheered. They fed off his energy. They wanted more. They rose off their seats applauding His Highness.
I discreetly shook my head in disbelief…
He gave the crowd a buzz and milked it for what its worth. He sold them their fix by shooting them in the arm with a rush of “feel good” adrenaline. I thought the days of rah-rah hype ended in the 80’s. Guess not.
You see, His Highness didn’t engage his audience at all. He pumped them up with motivational “feel good” bullet points. This type of oratory works well if you balance it with substance and meaning. Otherwise people will lose that good feeling somewhere between the time they drive off the parking lot and the time they swing open their front door.
So what’s the secret to engaging your audience at a world-class level?
1) Start with a story. But not just any story. A personal story. One that puts you right dab in the middle of it. Preferably, one that no one else in the world can tell but you. And by all means, let us know who you really are.
2) Expose the conflict. Is there a problem that needs resolving? Is there an archenemy? Can you quote facts and figures? Who are the victims if nothing is done?
3) Identify the solution. Is it a product? Maybe a program. Perhaps it’s an organization. What makes this solution unique? How does this stand out from other solutions?
4) Name the beneficiaries. Who benefits from this solution? Are they your clients? Maybe they’re your donors. Do they live overseas? And how are they benefiting?
5) Give your reason. Now answer the why question. What do you get for doing this? What caused you to get involved? Why should prospects join, buy or promote what you offer?
I know you’re smart enough to not follow in His Highness’ footsteps. You have an authentic, passionate message you want to present at a world-class level. And you realize giving genuine value through a personal story will touch, engage and affect an audience much more and much longer than chants and cheers alone.