Tease them before you tell them.
That’s a phrase I came up with that reminds me (and others) to not simply deliver information but to make your audience hungry for it. Why? Because they’ll value it more and probably digest it better.
There are several ways to tease them before you tell them.
For example, before you go into a point, you can tease your audience by letting them know what they can attain (achieve or become) by heeding the upcoming point. Here’s an example:
“If you get this next point…I mean if you REALLY grasp it, you’ll find yourself moving towards your goals and dreams even while you’re asleep.”
Here’s another example:
“How would you like a tool to make a deeper connection with your audience than you’ve ever felt before?”
Similarly, you can let your audience know what they can avoid by grabbing hold of your next point. Here’s an example:
“Have you ever given a speech you wish you could take back? Me too. Well, I promise you that will happen much less often after today because you’re about to pick up tools to help you keep your audience on the edge of their seats and make them glad they came.”
As you can see, this type of tease shows them what they can avoid (i.e. giving a speech they wish they could take back).
The “Attain” and “Avoid” teases work best when you’re transitioning from one point to the other. However, there is something you can do while making your point that will keep your audience hungry for the message. You can do this throughout your entire speech each time you actually make your point and you’ll be able to hear a pin drop during the process.
Before we dive into it, click the player below to listen to this very quick story and see if you can pick up what I did immediately before making my point.
The Biggest Tease
Oftentimes the biggest tease is silence. If you noticed, after the last line in my story, I said, “My son taught me something very important about self-development…about being remarkable.” Then I just went silent for a few beats before I said, “Never stop asking questions.”
Years ago I wouldn’t have delivered the line that way (of course I didn’t have this particular story years ago so I’m referring to any of my stories). Instead, I would have tried to set it up even more by saying, “My son taught me something very important about self-development…about being remarkable. What he taught me was to to never stop asking questions.”
The problem with doing it that way is it lessens the tease. Why? Because there’s no silence. There’s no waiting for it. Plus, let’s be honest. What happens when we go silent during our speech? Everyone looks up and stops what they’re doing to see what you’re going to say next. So instead of trying to set it up with words, set it up with silence.
Silence is the set up
Silence is often the biggest tease
Haven’t you ever seen a movie where something happens that temporarily renders one of the characters speechless? In those instances, I find myself enthralled with what that character is going to do or say next. It’s the same with speakers. We can use silence to our advantage on a regular basis as we move from our story (or activity) to our point.
Try it out. The next time you move from your story to your point, instead of setting the point up with words, just be silent. I believe you’ll see how powerful it is when you finally (make them wait for it) state your point. Let me know how it works for you. I’ll be waiting.
Let your silence speak.
- When Telling a Story, A Speaker Must Commit to… - April 6, 2020
- A Strange Yet Highly-effective Way to Connect with Your Audience - March 31, 2020
- Storytelling Secret – How Narration and Dialogue Should Work Together - March 24, 2020