Imagine a room where everyone is hanging onto your every word, checking in with each other and bringing an energy into the room that sets you up for a great discussion. Feels good doesn’t it? I’ve just demonstrated a simple technique you can use to get people interested in your meetings, presentations and workshops: ask a question or set a scene that transports the listener into your story.
Whether presenting or running a workshop, the surest way to get someone from drifting off into shopping lists, to do lists, “why was I sent here” is to make the discussion about them. Ask them to imagine something that fits your agenda and they will be with you for the duration! For example, if you have the unlovely task of persuading people to follow GDPR principles (it’s 2018… is there any other topic?!) – What happens if you start with a scenario such as “imagine you’ve just mistakenly sent your boss the most embarrassing photo or you, or email thread… what would that be?”. Everyone goes a bit white – everyone is making the story about themselves and from now on… they are listening!
Try it – just don’t then ask them to tell you what it was they imagined… that’s really going in a whole new (dangerous) tangent!. The point then is to get back to your “look after data, keep only what you must and think who can see what” principles. They will still be listening, but now…. they care, because they are still feeling the shame of their own imagination.