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Getting Past Your Audience's Objections

message - logos speaking360 Apr 12, 2021


You are speaking, and you look out at your audience. Often you can be faced with what I like to call the "judgey gatekeeper". Just imagine an audience member sitting back in their chair, arms folded with a look of passive resistance on their face.

How do you get past that? How do you deal with your audience's often unspoken objections? How do you get them to open up?


Use the power of story

Check out this quote by Peter Guber:

"Purposeful stories cleverly contain information, ideas, emotional prompts + value propositions that the teller wants to sneak inside the listener’s heart + mind."

[share this quote to Twitter]

I love this quote because it highlights the power of story, but it also suggests the possibility of manipulating or hoodwinking the audience. This sounds a bit like covert influence at its most sinister, doesn’t it?


Focus on the ethical use of story

To focus on the unethical application of the power of story and example is to miss the hidden gem in this quote. The key to using this principle ethically lies in the very first word. Purposeful. 

What is the purpose of your communication attempt? Is it to help yourself? If so, you’ll slip into manipulation of the audience. We see this all too often, don’t we?

But remember the Speaking360º philosophy puts the audience at the heart of all communication. Now the answer is to help the audience. The purpose is the help you want to make available to them, + that is the benefit to the audience.

Then, the use of a story as a 'Trojan Horse' becomes ethical. You are simply trying to get them to see past:

whatever story it is that is holding them back

the fears that are immobilizing them

the collective voice of all their past failures that insist 'nothing new will work'

If you can do this successfully, then your audience is free to choose objectively whether this is an idea or opportunity or purchase they wish to make use of. That's ethical AND helpful.

You can move your audience to being more open and receptive, by intentionally choosing stories that make them feel "you are just like me". You will connect with them. So much so, you can say goodbye to the 'judgey gatekeeper'!




To watch the accompanying video for this article click here 


Sources:  1 Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber [buy on Amazon now] 

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