Secret #5:Connection Comes Before Content

Thus continues the Special Report, "The Diva’s 7 Secrets to Speaking or Performing With Confidence, Ease and Charisma." I am posting these Secrets one by one every week. Until I run out.


Secret #5
Connection Comes Before Content

Have you ever talked with someone and immediately felt a connection? “Wow, we really connected,” you say to yourself. It’s as if something clicked in and opened up and there was an exchange of energy that went beyond the words spoken. You feel it, and if feels great.

When you are speaking with an audience or performing, you can create this same kind of magical, palpable connection. All you have to do is listen out loud.

This is not a technique or trick. What I call “listening out loud” is a state of being in which you are simply present, resting inside your own skin, and allowing yourself to be completely available, receptive and responsive to the presence and energy of your audience. It’s as if you are listening to your audience even though you happen to be the one doing all the talking.

Now, you’ve probably always thought that in order to be a great speaker or performer you have to go out there and give your audience all you’ve got with passion, enthusiasm and excellence. But in a way, the opposite is true.

To be an effective speaker or performer, you need to be exquisitely available and responsive to your audience, listening to them. True, they may not be saying a word but believe me, there is a conversation going on. There is an energetic exchange. By being available and responsive to that energetic conversation, you will create a connection with your audience that will be far more satisfying and memorable than anything you might say or do.
As you saw in Richard’s story in Secret #4, there is so much more value in your connection with your audience than there is in presenting your speech or show perfectly and properly. All too often, we get so caught up in “doing” our presentation right, or performing brilliantly that we tend to unconsciously distance ourselves from the people who are in the room.

But when you relax around getting your content just right, you can more easily open to receive your audience, receive what wants to happen in that moment, and allow yourself to speak or perform from that state of connection and receptivity.

Yes, I’m sure you have a great speech to give or a show to do. You invested time and energy into creating it, practicing it, even perfecting it. All of that is good. But when you get up in front of that group, it’s all about your relationship with that audience, from that moment on.

Your priority is not your precious content. Your priority is being available and receptive to your audience in a way that can create a connection with them. A real, palpable connection that feels irresistible to your audience and satisfying for you. That speech you prepared in isolation needs to take a back seat to what wants to happen now that you are in communication with live human beings.

Once you allow yourself to go for the connection rather than your content, you won’t settle for anything less. That state of connection is so delicious and addictive. You feel fully plugged in to all your resources so you are not only able to receive to your audience but you are also able to be receptive to your own intuitive knowing, your own wild, authentic voice.

You can hear what wants to come up and out of you in that moment. You feel free to just go with those impulses because they are being created out of your connection to yourself and your audience. You can just go with the flow, be spontaneous and feel free in your expression rather than needing to be tied to your speech or script.

I’ll be straight with you. Learning how to communicate in this way takes a little training and a little practice. In the Unconditional Confidence® trainings we spend a fair amount of time practicing “listening out loud” because it feels so foreign to most of us. We’re not used to communicating in this way. Even when we talk to others in our daily life, our attention is usually wrapped up in telling our story, making our point or getting our message across. We may even be great at listening to others while they are speaking, but we rarely, if ever, allow ourselves to be in a state of listening and receptivity when we are the ones who are talking.

One way to get a taste of this state of being is by working with the “Engage Your Audience” CD, available through my website. This CD will take you through a few processes that will allow you to get the feel of how to be receptive and available, how to “listen out loud,” and create an authentic connection with your audience, whether it’s an audience of one of one thousand.

Now, you may be saying, “But I HAVE to do this presentation just so! It’s important to represent my business fully and accurately!”

Oh, really? 

Let me tell you something. People don’t do business with presentations. They do business with people. Your information can be compelling and stellar, but if your audience doesn’t get a full take of who you are and the way you relate, it will be hard for them to know if they want to do business with you.

Remember, whatever you have to say or present, chances are that your audience could get that same information from a variety of different sources. Online. In a book or report. On a CD. But what they can’t get in any of those things is the opportunity to connect with you, to be in relationship with you. It is this interaction, this relationship with your audience that is so valuable, juicy, alive, memorable and satisfying to an audience. And hopefully, to you as well.

Let your audience be with you, not your information. Let your priority be connection, not content, and you will be highly effective as a communicator. You will feel so much more self-assured and at ease, and you will have the time of your life every time you are with an audience.


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