Beyond connecting with your
audience, are you:
Touching them? (Not literally)
What is reaching an audience?
I know it when I see it, and so do
you, as this example from a reality
TV talent show on April 11, 2009,
Q: “What’s the dream?”
A: “To be a professional singer.”
The judge rolls his eyes, scarcely concealing his skepticism. The audience
The unemployed 47-year-old contestant described herself as never been
married or kissed. The audience and
the judges believed her based on her
appearance and their first impressions. They believed that she was
unemployed, had never been married,
and had never been kissed. They did
not believe she had talent or could
impress them, let alone reach them.
First impressions can be so wrong.
Like a predator sensing an easy kill,
another judge asked:
Q: “What are you going to sing for us
A: “I’m going to sing ‘I Dreamed a
Dream’ from Les Miserables.”
This judge couldn’t hold back his
The atmosphere was ominous.
Everyone was certain it would end badly.
And then she sang.
The audience gasped. Then they
roared with approval. In four seconds,
they were on their feet cheering. The
singer reached her audience!
To everyone’s surprise and amazement, including judges Simon Cowell
and Piers Morgan, Susan Boyle went
beyond connecting with an audience.
She shocked, rocked, moved and
transformed her audience. She
Most of you are familiar with the
story of Susan Boyle, middle-aged
aspiring singer who became an overnight sensation. She gave the song, “I
Dreamed a Dream” deeper meaning.
Not only did listeners hear the words;
they felt the words.
I’ve evaluated hundreds of presenters, and there is one element that
is consistently missing: reaching or
moving the audience. While many
presenters can connect with their
audiences, most of them cannot move
or reach them.
Reaching an Audience
Connecting with an audience is:
Tangible: You use specific external
tangible techniques to connect with
the audience, including stories, statis-
tics and quotations.
Logical: Your presentation is rational
and easy to follow. It connects with
the audience’s brain.
Concrete: You provide the audience
with specific ideas, strategies, tools
Safe and reliable: You use
approaches that will work every time.
Situational: You reach into your
“Connection Toolbox” to use the
appropriate tool for the specific audi-
ence; for example, a story about an
Based on timing: It can take seconds,
minutes, hours, days, weeks, years (or
never) to connect with the audience.
Based on technique: The connection
can be achieved using a technique.
Presents new ideas: Audiences can
absorb new ideas.
Via the head: Connecting takes place
via the thought process.
Reach into your
to use the
for the specific