Hang Out With Your Audience

David likes Mugshots hamburgers. Knows the lyrics to every 80’s hit. Is down from 463 to 412 pounds.

Carrie’s favorite color is orange. Has 3 girls and a boy. Can rock a stage as a speaker like nobody’s business.

Chances are good you did not know about Mugshots or the color orange simply because you don’t hang out with David and Carrie. You’re not friends.

All sorts of words are used to describe relationships… colleagues, associates, co-workers, partner, acquaintance, etc. But those are terms of distance. Words that show you know people, but you don’t KNOW people.

Since we’re looking at KNOWING your Audience, lets take the relationship deeper. Get to know them as friends. Go beyond the shiny surface.

Hang out with your people. Spend time with them. Become their friend. Here are three of the easiest and best ways in our hyper-society…

#1 Facebook

It’s no accident that you “friend” people on Facebook. Folks love to share their lives. Often they over share. :)

Don’t just stalk. Interact. Use “likes” and comments to show your engagement and to further conversation if needed. Later on, as you get to know your audience, you can ask about their children, work, events, etc to show you you’ve moved from another name on the list to someone who actually cares.

#2 Forums

While it’s easy to spend too much time in forums, people do tend to ask a lot of questions and even rant in forums.

It’s a more emotional medium than Facebook as well. People feel they are in a trusted arena. Facebook is broad and forums are narrow. The focus of a forum is usually related to a specific topic, so folks feel more comfortable saying what they really mean.

Again, interact. Answer questions. Give advice. Private message if the conversation requires more privacy.

#3 Face to Face

Whether you share a meal together or meet at an event, getting face to face is the most important connection.

You get to see expressions. Hear the tone of the words. And you certainly feel the emotion of the moment.

With each of the encounters answer the following questions…

What are the recurring conversations?

What are the recurring problems?

What are the recurring dreams?

The answers will help you know your audience at a deeper level which helps you engage far below the surface.

public speaking

Eat with Your Audience

My boys and I love Waffle House.

Maybe it’s the golden waffles.

Maybe it’s the bacon.

Maybe it’s the risk associated with less than stellar health ratings.

Regardless, we talk, we laugh we have a blast.

That’s usually what happens when sharing a meal.

So here’s the suggestion… take your audience out to eat.


Reserve a table for five. Then tweet or post or email or podcast an invitation. The first four to reply get a seat at the table. You pick up the tab.

Begin by having everyone give a self-introduction…

Where they live.
What they do for a living.

Ask four questions during the meal…

#1 What was your favorite thing to do as a child?

#2 What event shaped your life more than any other?

#3 In five years where do you want to be?

#4 What’s your biggest challenge with _______?

The blank in #4 is your main topic or market.

Most of the time we sit around trying to figure out what’s happening in the hearts of audience. Just take them out. Ask a few questions. Stop guessing and imagining. Get to know real people.

public speaking

P.S. This is the third article in the Know Your Audience Series

Mom Turns 70

My mom turns 70 today!

For most of my time at home she was a single
parent. I was a mess. And they had not
diagnosed or medicated whatever it was
i had!

But she worked hard. Supported me and my
sister, and I look back with a lot of smiles and
great memories!

Saturday night we had a birthday party for
her and she was super surprised. There
were a lot of laughs, tears and good times.

One of the biggest reasons for my success
is because of mom’s complete bias. She
always pumped us up. Always told us we
could do anything. Always said we were
the smartest. Always cheered us on even
when we were losing. Always comforted
us when we failed. Always celebrated with
“I knew you could” when we succeeded.

Here’s to you mom and other moms
around the world who keep encouraging,
building and shaping!

public speaking

Back in Time

Too often we’re scared to launch our site, article, book or product because it is not good enough.

I shall now prove to you once and for all that you should ship NOW!

Once you feast your eyes on one of my early websites you will know that it is possible to engage your audience with sheer ugliness…


Platform Conference

Notes from Platform Conference

Ken Davis Platform Conference

Ken Davis just finished his keynote called WOW!

WOW is Pretty, Practical & Personal.

Under personal, he said… “Be You.”

Yet often we look to someone else to imitate.

Why do we do that?

Here’s my guess…

Deep down we all want to be accepted as we are. We want people to love us as we are. But… we fear rejection. So in an effort to be accepted we find someone we accept and others accept and we try to duplicate him or her.

Stop that.

Here’s why. You have knowledge, insights, passion, experiences inside YOU that others want to duplicate.

“I’m not special.”

Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be special, you have to be you.