I’m not listening! I’m not listening!

shutterstock_54963838This week I’ve been working on a presentation for the CW Expo preview event on 5 February. I’m taking to the platform with Todd of Spaghetti Agency, Rebecca Fahy of Jigsaw CCS and Colin Walkey.

Our remit is to share tips and tricks on how to make the most of exhibiting at or visiting CW Expo. My bit will be about what businesses should say.

At the same time I’ve been preparing an online training programme on communication for team leaders.

Taking a step back, it seems my current obsession is with messaging.

Whether it’s me preparing for the CW Expo launch event, businesses going to CW Expo or the team leaders, we all have to do the same thing; work out what to say and turn it into a compelling story.

We want the same thing: our target audience (the attendees at the launch event, visitors to CW expo or the individual members of the team) to hear what we have to say. We want to persuade them of the benefits of our offer and sign up!

I can stand up and give a pithy and insightful talk (or at least I hope I can!) but what’s the point if all they hear is blah, blah, blah? Businesses at the Expo can have a stunningly visual stand, but why bother if it doesn’t get more than a passing nod of appreciation? The team leader can pass on the corporate messages but why waste the time if team members are thinking about something else?

The audience has to be involved or we’re simply standing on a soapbox with a megaphone in an empty room. And I don’t mean just getting them to stand up and do stuff. They need to be cognitively involved. They need to be actively interested in what we’re saying.

When crafting our message we have to the put the audience right in the middle of everything.

People are interested in three things: themselves, their pleasures and their problems.

So start the communication process with a little empathy. Put yourself in their shoes, see the world from their perspective.

Then answer three questions:

  1. What do they want to get from being here?
  2. How can I help?
  3. What do I want them to know?

Equipped with the answers you’re in a good position to work out what to say and how to say it so you capture and keep their attention at the same time as getting across your main points.

If you want help with your messaging, give me a call.

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By Cathy Connan

I'm an integrative psychotherapist. I help people invest in their wellbeing and live the life they want.