Imagine you are given a speech, and you want to encourage your audience to "Say Yes, anyway." There are going to be people who will easily agree. They will be easy to convert. But did you think of the other kinds of people? Did you even think of this first group?
Anyway the above is a common topic in motivational speeches. I am sure you know the pattern. The speaker was faced with a hard choice. He gave into the fear and didn`t do X. Then somehow, he got courage. He was faced with another hard choice and said yes. There were some problems, but it turned out right. So, because he had achieved success with this episode, you, the audience, should say yes too.
That is a good pattern is you are easily motivated by these kinds of speeches. Most people are not. Most people will fall into four basic categories. They are:
1. Those who agree with your message
2. Those who disagree with your message
3. Those who are neutral or don`t understand your message
4. Those who don`t care.
If a majority is not even sure what your message is you have bigger problem. Unless, of course, you just want to be entertaining. Then your message doesn`t matter.
If you want to be entertaining, four groups are similar they are:
1. Those who like you
2. Those who don`t like you
3. Those who are still making up their mind to like you or not
4. Those who don`t care.
If you are giving a presentation, I will assume that you are not going this to preach to the choir. You want to change minds, move hearts, and get people to do things differently than before.
If that is the case, then you need know who you are dealing with and what do to about them.
The first group those who agree with you are not problem. As long as you do not say that is confusing or stupid, you should be fine. I would not spend much time thinking about them. Unless you want to make them much more of a fan than they are not.
The second group are those will disagree with you. The first reaction is that I`m right and they are wrong. It is so obvious. But that attitude will get you nowhere.
You need to find out why they would disagree and come up some counter arguments. You need to do this while at the same time having sympathy with their position. If you just focus on attack they will not change their minds and only dig themselves deeper into their first opinion.
The third group are neutral. They do not have enough information to make a decision to agree or disagree. So, you need to go over your logic and make it easy for everyone to understand.
Do Not Care
The fourth group is the don`t care group. They are the toughest group. You need to not only state why this topic is important. You also need to tap into their wants and needs and show how your topic is worth paying attention right now.
There are a many different ways of handling each, but if you know your audience, you can generally figure out which tactics will work. So, give it some thought. For you next speech how will you handle each of the four groups. Please respond with your thoughts.