I firmly – hand on my Walking Dead comic books – believe that you shouldn't just speak, but create an experience for your audience.
I've never been sure just HOW to go about doing this. What's the process? What does it mean for the audience to have an experience with a speaker?
My friend and the co-founder of Blogcast FM (which you should be listening if you're not), Srini, is organizing The Instigator Experience. He and his co-conspirator chatted on the podcast about what this event would be like and how it would be different from any other conference in the history of time.
After listening, I went to pilates. After getting my butt handed to me, I hobbled back to the Mini, and it hit me (not my Mini).
Emotion. Value. Action. Meaning. The ingredients of an epic audience experience.
What do you want your audience to feel?
The first step in creating an epic audience experience is to tap into an emotion.
When was the last time you started preparing for a presentation by pondering the question, “How do you want your audience to feel as they take this crazy journey with you?”
Mad as hell and they are NOT going to take it anymore.
Emotion is how we connect with each other. It's essential to think about how you want to make your audience feel. It's how you build a lasting relationship with the people you speak to.
Share a crazy amount of value
The one piece of advice that I give all my entrepreneurial clients is: Give your best idea away for free.
They bristle and say “If I give them my best stuff, no one will hire me.”
Wrong. They'll hire you because you impacted their life. You made a significant change in your listeners. They'll want more from you.
For an audience to have an experience, they must value it. Remember, the only reason to ever give a speech is to create change!
Now, it's not enough to vomit information at an audience. Too many speakers who “sell from the stage” overwhelm with information.
Because then you'll hire the guru on the stage to clarify and show you how to implement what they spewed on you.
Yuck (on the speaker and this metaphor is getting totally gross).
During your presentation, what action can your listeners take to implement the information NOW?
Recently, I saw a speech on goal setting. At first, I thought “YAWN another speech on goal setting…BORING!”
Bad, cynical Michelle! It was awesome. Why? We went through her process for goal setting together. At the end, we implemented her process and had a goal that was not only SMART, but was tied into how we would FEEL after we accomplished it.
The best part? She had us share our newly crafted goal with her and each other.
Which brings me to the final ingredient in creating an audience experience…
When I was in Ph.D. school this idea of co-creating meaning was all the buzz. In a nutshell, meaning emerges because of the relationships we have with each other.
The big problem with the speaking industry or speaking in almost any setting is it does not allow the audience to co-create meaning with the speaker. It's one-way communication. There's a huge divide between speaker on stage and person in a chair listening.
When we create meaning together, we all have a richer, more creative, and more inspiring experience. The speaker actively interacts, asks questions, and has the audience connect with each other.
You know why I remember a presentation on goal setting? Because I shared my thoughts, I talked with the other people and shared in their dreams.
Meaning was made, and an experience had.
It's hard work to create an experience
Giving a speech is easy compared to creating an experience. However, if you prepare by absolutely knowing what you want your audience to feel, understanding the insane amount of value you create, having the audience take action and co-create meaning, I know your presentation will make a huge splash and change lives.
P.S. If you want to create an epic audience experience with eases – download my free Presentation Sweet Spot Strategy Guide :: Create a Presentation SO Good Your Audience is Moved to Act.