125 The 5 questions every audience is asking

Your ideas deserve a great audience. And your audience is asking five things of you. You won’t get your message across unless you provide answers to these five basic questions.

The 5 questions audiences are asking

This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Mark Twain:

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

The five things audiences ask of presenters are reasonable. The audience wants to see that your information is valuable, credible, relevant, beneficial, and actionable. All five work together for the audience to come away with the message you intend. In this episode, Leary and Armin discuss the following five questions:

  1. Why should I listen?
  2. What’s your role in this? (Are you a guide, a guru, or a greenie?)
  3. What you have in common with me? (Are you relatable?)
  4. What’s the benefit to me?
  5. What are you asking me to do?

Quotes from the show:

  • “We’re not going to talk about technique, but how you need to think about and prepare for and [give] yourself a mental game plan [for public speaking].” —Leary
  • “We often spend a lot of time […] thinking about what we want to say, but we don’t necessarily think about where the audience is coming from.” —Leary
  • “Worry less about the technique. Worry more about what you’re trying to accomplish.” —Leary
  • “The challenge is that we need to show not only why they should listen, establishing that up front, but that ought to be a recurrent theme in what your message is about. […] These are not sequential, […] this is what your whole presentation needs to continually answer ‘Why should I still be listening?'” —Leary
  • “Be honest. Be you. Be authentic. And don’t try to be something you are not. […] Something I’ve seen […] is someone trying to act like they are an expert when they are not. […] Unless they come across as a guru, [they think] people won’t listen.” —Armin
  • “We have been talking about this level of relatability between me the audience and you the speaker. That honesty, that vulnerability […] is really engaging for [many] because you can set yourself up as the expert, but a lot of people can’t relate to you [though] they still want to learn from you.” —Armin
  • “If you want to share something with me, I want to […] know that we have some area of commonality, some way in which I can relate to you that then becomes the vehicle that your passion transfers over to mine.” —Leary
  • “Getting people to do something is much easier when you ask them. […] Putting the question out there in a very clear way gives them the opportunity to say, ‘Yeah, I can do that’ or ‘No, I won’t,’ but at least you put it out there.” —Leary

This week’s Challenge Me:

Before your next presentation, take fifteen minutes to write out your answers to the five questions. Keep those answers in mind while you present to maximize your rapport with your audience.

Comments? Questions? Stories from your own life? Share them with us in the comments below.

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