Do you find starting a speech or webinar a little awkward?
Just like in relationships, the first impression that someone has of you when you stand on stage will dramatically impact the way they see your entire presentation.
I want to share with you the one secret that will make your audience say that famous Jerry Maguire line, “You had me at hello.”
It was several years ago, I was asked to lead a 2-day leadership conference for over 300+ executives of a multinational corporation.
I could tell that many of them had their defenses up.
I knew that the way I introduced myself and built rapport was going to be crucial to how the next two days rolled out.
It was either going to be a great experience for them and me or one of the worst onstage experiences ever.
As I stepped on stage for the first time and looked at the audience’s faces I didn’t see a crowd, I saw people.
Real people, with real lives, each with unique issues and challenges.
And all of a sudden I started to feel more comfortable in the conversation I was about to have with them.
I led with a big “Hello.”
And as usual 3 out of 300 people responded back.
At that very moment, there was an uncomfortable silence and a visceral feeling to just move on and keep talking.
But I stopped, looked at them with a slight smile on my face and started again…”HELLO!”
And just as I thought, 300 executives responded back with a bit of a “Hello!” followed by some laughter.
It might seem subtle, but one thing that is crucial to ‘leading the room’ from any stage or webinar is demanding rapport.
In the first 3 to 5 minutes of any online or offline presentation, you must expect and demand rapport.
If your audience senses any hesitation or fear in you, they will instantly question your credibility and believability.
In your journey to becoming a more persuasive speaker, you must win the audience over in the first 3 to 5 minutes, showing them that you mean business and that you aren’t asking questions for the sake of it.
You are serious.
You expect them to respond.
Once you’ve won your audience over something magical will begin to happen.
You’ll create momentum in your presentation.
You’ll get more and more ‘yeses’ and ‘commitment’ from your audience.
It’s like a big rolling ball, and as it gains momentum it will lead to your audience being fully committed to the outcome you’re trying to lead them to.
Last week I got a direct message from a Sell From Stage student saying that through building rapport and momentum in her 5-day challenge she saw ‘almost no drop-off from the students showing up to each session’ and when she made her offer, 3 people joined the $6,000 program. She said this has never happened before, and she put it down to the fact that she’d built trust and responsiveness with her audience using the Sell From Stage Method.
So the next time you run a webinar or present at a summit I want you to take the mindset that you are responsible for the responsiveness of your audience.
That when you win their response in the first 3 to 5 minutes you also begin to win their minds and hearts, which will lead to people joining your program.
I hope this helps as you design and build your next presentation that sells.
Colin “Build Rapport” Boyd
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