How to start a powerful message

We often invest a huge amount of time and effort in planning our message. We want it to be clear and strong and motivating and bullet proof. We argue and support, find more evidence, and rehearse. We work hard to make the message as strong as it could possibly be.

And when we fail to be heard as we want to be heard, we blame ourselves for delivering it the wrong way. This makes it harder the next time we have to walk into a conversation or a presentation and deliver a strong, clear message.

What if our delivery was fine and the problem was that the audience was not ready to hear us? The most powerful messages all begin with the same thing: the speaker finds a way to say to the audience, "I see you."

© Can Stock Photo / ueuaphoto
The one thing that you can be sure every audience wants is a mirror. Before they care about how you see your subject matter, they want to know how you see them. When you reflect what you see in your audience, you do two things: 1) help them see themselves better and 2) help them decide whether or not to trust you. Beginning your message with words that reflect what you know about your audience opens an important connection. You give them what they want before you tell them what you want.

If you're frustrated because you have a great message that no one seems to hear, try this. Instead of working harder on the message, work harder on your ability to mirror your audience. When they know they have your attention, they are much more likely to give you theirs.


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