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Scott Berkun on: it’s not about you.

March 18, 2010

While reading Scott Berkun’s blog (check the blogroll) I found a post of his that makes it sound like we were exchanging thought vibes a few days ago. Here’s an excerpt:

There is no magic recipe for convincing large numbers of people of something all at the same time.  That’s really hard to do. But if you are only trying to convince one person of something you can learn about them, study their interest and beliefs, and use that knowledge as a foothold for the ideas you want them to support or follow…  The classic mistake people make is focusing on their own pitch. Their points. Their slides. Entirely forgetting who the audience is. This is shooting blind.

Work the opposite way. Understand their goals, their core beliefs, their preferred kind of thinking (data driven, story driven, principle driven, goal driven) – how do they argue for things? How do they convince others to do things? That’s the toolkit to work from. But most people find this boring. They can’t get their egos excited about studying other people, so they don’t. And then they fail. But if you can be generous of mind, and like a method actor put yourself inside their view of the world, you will understand them. And once you understand them you’ll see their perspective on you and your ideas.

See what I mean? Different approach, but Scott really hits the points in my “It’s not about you” post below. Highly recommend his post to you.

Scott is so right–think about your audience, see if you can adopt their mindset. It’s one of those tips that presentation and speaker coaches keep hammering on and way too many presenters and speakers keep missing.

They want you to succeed (make an impact) but to do that you’ll they need to remember: It’s not about you; it’s about them.

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