Why Don’t You Take Your Audience’s POV?

I spent a good part of Monday mentoring some exceptionally bright and talented people, each facing terrific opportunities, along with the terrific uncertainty you feel before anything is certain.

Consider this a shout out if I saw you today.

Here’s the terrible thing I forgot to tell you and you and you and you. Almost everyone I saw, not just today, but in the last 90 business days (that’s 3 months in my world – I work weekends), doesn’t really need mentoring.

Most people just need a POV adjustment.  POV? Point of view.

We all need to “get over ourselves.” We need to think about our audience – and you know I call anyone you speak to – one or ten thousand people at a time – your audience. And, you know I call some of them players – those people who play an important role in your life. Players can say yes and greenlight the job, project or payment you desire. Or, they can say no, and stop you in your tracks.

Rather than mentor, I mostly remind people that we have to feel the other guy’s/girl’s/group’s pain and we have to appreciate him/her/them (honestly does anyone have a solution to the pronoun thing?). With empathy and affirmation as the foundation for all your interactions, you naturally say things that connect with your audience. This will be true whether you’re asking or answering a question, or giving a presentation.

Consider this typical employment interview question. I promise, I had this role-play with a wonderful man today, whose answer was not wonderful.

For example:  BAD ANSWER
Q: “What do you like about our company?” says prospective employer.
A: “You seem to really take care of your people. I like the support you provide your sales team, especially that the presentation decks are produced by administrative staff.”

OUCH!!!!!! Crack, pop – POV adjustment delivered.

For example:  GOOD ANSWER
Q: “What do you like about our company?” says prospective employer.
A:  “Your brand name symbolizes the best marketing practices. It seems that every bit of your product portfolio has been carefully crafted, not just for its own attributes, but also for what it means to your overall brand. I would be very proud to be an ambassador for that brand.”

It’s better to receive than give.

How did we forget that connecting comes from “receiving” our audience? Receiving isn’t a synonym for listening. Receiving means showing with your words that you have tuned them in – that you’re on their wavelength.

You may be unintentionally twittering in public.

I love social media  – in fact, if you are present tense with me, you know how monumental it is to my company’s communications strategies. But like too many eggs, over-indulging in social media might cause your arteries to block the oxygen that should be flowing to your brain when you’re with ACTUAL PEOPLE.

Those aren’t avatars. There are real people in your real meetings, even your web or phone meetings. You should be INTERACTING. This is totally different than  your every 10 minute broadcasts, courtesy of  your social media profile’s WIIFM station. That stream of conscience you’re delivering is from station: What’s In It For Me?.com.

Because I, too engage myself in social media, I get the connection crisis.
–    As one of your followers on Twitter, I’m fascinated you’ve “scored” an apple green shirt, albeit grey market .
–    Via Facebook, I see you’ve told your ex-boyfriend from high school that you are now happily coupled with a well-PhotoShopped new mate (who did that Photo-Shopping? I’ve seen your new guy, and frankly you are not dating Brad Pitt)
–    And, from YouTube, I see that you have shredded your sister’s cow slippers on your very own Will it Blend? video.  Totally cool. Thanks for sharing.

Just don’t twitter when you speak up in public. You could be engaging players for your next project, promotion or paycheck, simply by expressing your empathy and affirmation. Tell your story from their POV.

Enjoy the sunshine, the fluorescent lighting and the dim bulb. It’s easier than ever to get what you want, because your so-called competition is just twittering away the time. Or is that frittering away?

Need it in 140 characters or less? Give and take from your audience’s POV.

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