I recently wrote a big speech for a Chief Executive at a Fortune 500 company for a semi-hostile audience. Her team told me the reason they hired me is because I was the ONLY person they interviewed who asked unique questions specific to the audience she would address.
That’s rule #1 in Communication. To truly engage and inspire an audience, you need to understand them. And, if your audience is hostile, then you REALLY need to understand them!
Ghost writing is an honor because it provides me with the opportunity to build bridges for people I don’t even know. With this speech in particular, I helped replace conflict with connection and inspire trust where there was turmoil.
The quote here is an excerpt from the email she sent me after giving the speech:
- “I wanted to let you know it went extremely well and they broke out into applause. I got many great compliments about the remarks after. You did a wonderful job and I just wanted to tell you I appreciated your efforts and insights. It really helped! We look forward to continuing to work with you.”
If you’re trying to connect with an audience, don’t start with what YOU want to say or what YOU want them to know. Start by trying to understand who they are, what they want/fear, and what you have in common.
Position yourself on the same side first — and go from there.