I recently facilitated a workshop on Defining Leadership for people who train young people to be leaders in their communities. It was a fascinating experience asking them to step into THEIR leadership, instead of focusing solely on the young people they train. I’ve seen this before – with trainers, facilitators, camp counselors even – people tasked with imparting life skills and tools to another group (generally younger people, but not always) that they forget themselves in the process.
Generally, whatever we’re selling (prosperity, relationship wisdom, leadership development, etc), we need too. While I fully intend to explore these concept deeper in the future, here are my take-aways from the experience, a great recipe for making a room of people fall in love with you.
Walk Your Talk
It does your audience NO good if you are teaching them something that you’re struggling with. There’s an instant disconnect. People love to learn from experts. People love to be inspired. Be your own expert by showing that whatever you’re selling works, and they need look no farther than you to realize that. They should want to be you by the time you’re done with them, which is totally a form of love.
Get Out Of Your Own Way
This is a big one. Especially if you’re new, or nervous, we tend to undermine ourselves. We’ll say things like “You might not get this, but…” or “Even if you can’t relate…” – what? Those are instant outs for your audience! Don’t give them the chance. Speak with authority and confidence. If this seems too foreign, fake it till you make it. Most people can’t tell the difference. What’s more attractive than confidence? Confidence wins, every time.
Be Comfortable With Yourself
Things will go wrong. There will be glitches. If you spend that time trying to prove you’re ‘Right’ or ‘Invincible’ you’ll alienate the audience and come off stuffy and wooden. A little humor goes a loooooong way. Being able to make a bit of fun of yourself makes you human and more accessible to your audience. This comes from being comfortable with yourself and your place in front of the room. Comfort in your own skin = highly loveable. If this feels like a stretch, practice!
Be patient. If you ask a question, let them puzzle it out. Don’t give all the answers away. Awkward silence can be golden. If you want them to learn from you, give them space to really think about what you’re proposing. This also show’s that you’re paying attention to them (who doesn’t love that?!) and willing to meet them where they are. Highly powerful stuff.
If you’re not loving what you’re leading, how do you expect your audience to feel about it? What? You’re wildly passionate about people living life on their terms? Me too! And I let that show, every time I talk about it, and especially when I’m leading workshops around that topic. It gives my participants permission to feel just as excited about it, to get playful with it, and to unleash themselves. If I am holding back, showing no passion or fun or zest, you better believe that’s how my group will feel about it, a lackluster, meh. Nobody falls in love with meh. Go for passionate, excited, engaged, committed.
What about you? Any tips or tricks to share? Anything that someone has done in front of a group that just turned you off? Who have you fallen in love with just by watching them be in front of a group?