In general, I hate it when Facebook changes their look and functionality. Nothing irritates me more than waking up to unwanted change, whether its road construction, Ben & Jerry yanking my favorite flavor, or somebody messing with my friend stream! I'm guilty of whining with the rest of FB users who can't just go with the flow. Perhaps I just don't like change.
Except, I just voluntarily went out of my way to go through an early change - what's up with that? Obviously, the difference was a matter of control, of Whose Idea It Was! It was my idea, so the result would either be good, or at least, if it were bad, my own fault.
While some of us deal with change better than others, the closer change hits to our daily lives, the tougher it can be to accept. How does that affect us as speakers, especially when we are generally charged with affecting change in our audience?
Bad teachers and trainers tell us the way life is, filling us with facts about the world.
Bad preachers tell us the way our life should be, throwing out tenets that come from an ultimate authority.
Bad salespeople tell us the way our life could be, if we just buy what they tell us to buy!
Speakers? Unfortunately, we get a bad rap occasionally because so many bad speakers take cues from typical bad teachers, preachers and salespeople, instead of using their stage time to lead the audience to their own conclusion. Imagine your next audience all coming to your conclusion on their own! How much more effective would that make you as a speaker? How much longer would your speech impact your clients?
I used two methods of making my conclusion your idea in the paragraph above:
1. Imagine If - Let the audience imagine their own outcome. It gives them both control and a more accurate picture than you could paint, since everyone has their own vision of success or failure.
2. Direct Questions - How much more? How would? What if? Similar to the Imagine If tactic, it is a bit more direct, more immediate. It also builds an underlying dialogue between the audience and you as a speaker.
You can also have more direct interaction with questions, getting them to answer you, and even writing their answers on the board, if your have an appropriate setting. Building to your conclusion through a positive form of Groupthink will anchor the ideas with your listeners.
Finally, a slightly more manipulative form of making it Their Idea is the Takeaway. This is seen in sales quite often, by creating a limited time offer, or by creating scarcity (only 10 spots available!). This is meant to turn around the buyers mindset, so they feel they have taken action themselves, instead of having action taken upon them.
A softer, more ethical use of this method can be effective for you as a speaker. We don't want to create scarcity or a time crunch, necessarily, but we can help the audience paint their own picture of pain or loss if they don't take action. In doing so, we don't pressure them, we simply tell them it's their choice. That's the truth. What will their lives be like if they continue moving forward the same way they've been walking all this time?
Whose Idea Should It Be? Theirs. But you already figured that out, didn't you?