“Emotions and feelings are important but they can’t drive your life. There is nothing more vulnerable, nothing more irrational than the human emotions; nor is there anything as powerful, steadfast and sticky as tapping into people’s feelings”.
What are “sticky” messages ? Sticky is communication that connects with people and shared with others. Although this sounds pretty obvious it means that purposely creating a presentation that sticks is difficult at best. Social influence of ideas is laced with uncertainty and unpredictability. Simply put, people only know what they like after they see, touch, hear or feel the content. Before the experience they generally can layout some expectations and say they know what they want to hear but in actually they don’t know what it is that connects them with a speaker. The truth is that the connection is based on emotions. It is what many people refer to as a speaker with passion and charisma. The connection is something that touches them in the heart and is clear and compelling enough for them to put into their own words and pass along to colleagues and friends.
So here are a few tips to remember during your next presentation ; especially if you want to create an experience that is charismatic, memorable and “sticky”
1. Focus on your passion and align emotions with content. Speak from the heart and tell why your topic and ideas should be important to them. Tell stories that tap into their expressed needs. Do your homework on audience expectations and be clear on what is important and how the message can make a difference either in their family life or at work.
2. Create “buzz”. Make content easy to understand, simple to pass along and compelling. Give your audience an opportunity and reason to use and share the “sticky” message.
3. Don’t be fearful to experiment with your message to find out what works and what doesn’t (prep is essential). Devise ways to get feedback and measure your impact as the presentation goes on. This allows you to improvise and change emphasis on the fly.
4. Your influence as a connector lays in offering value to the audience, not marketing high level stuff. Make your content tangible and usable. Show them how to to solve relevant and specific problems – something they see as relevant to their work or life sticks.
4. Market your content to people who show an interest (first adopters). Spot the interested and encourage interaction after the delivery of the material. Seek feedback on worked and what needs improvement. Connections with “true believers” or influencers should be the corner stone of any “sticky” strategy. Figure out who your real fans are and let them do some of the work for you.
5. If you want to produce a “sticky and contagious” message spend as much time thinking about the methods to spread the message, as the content itself. “What are you doing? What is the end result?”. It is because many of us are task oriented. I am not. I am outcome oriented. This helps me make sure I achieve results and not just complete tasks. How? I have simple finite checklist of outcomes.
How have you created “sticky” messages? Share your ideas.