HAVE YOU EVER FELT

Needy?

2 FEBRUARY 2017

Ever really wanted to persuade your audience, so much you’d do almost anything? Watch out, throughout the pitch, before and after it is important to ensure you do not appear needy, no matter how poor or desperate you are. Remember, this is not about you, it is about your audience and we want our audience to be in ‘easy’ thinking mode.

When you are needy you empower your audience. Have you ever felt superior when someone is pitching or presenting to you? What happens? You do not lose yourself in their work, you step back and analyse what is good or bad ‘oh, I would not have shown that slide….. Does she really want that much money!’. We do not want our audience to be analytical because that is logical, we want them to feel good and be in ‘easy’ thinking mode.

Can a needy man be an attractive man?

If you appear too keen to get across your idea then you will send the signal to the audience that they have the upper hand and therefore what you are presenting cannot be new, they must have heard it before. Keep your audience thinking you are the one with the idea that is in demand, not them.

“Needy. Never needy.”

Entire industries are built around the illusion of demand; the luxury goods industry is a great example of this.

Luxury brands, they don’t need you, you need them.

We all have the opportunity to learn from these industries. My favourite example of how powerful this can be comes from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain:

Tom Sawyer got other boys to pay him to do work he did not want to perform, white washing a fence on a hot summer’s day. He did not blackmail them or hold a gun to their heads. Tom Sawyer presented the work he was doing — whitewashing a fence — as not work at all but as something only special boys could do. Besides convincing Tom of their worthiness to paint the fence, the boys had to give Tom a prized possession for the honour of relieving him of his chore.

No one wants to be persuaded by a person that must speak, this does not make the audience feel special, maintain the illusion that you do not need to persuade your audience and watch how much more successful you are.