An Open Letter To My Audience
Firstly, a big “Thank you” to you, my audience for your continued attention and participation.
But just why do you choose to listen to me? I mean, what needs are you trying to get met? Here’s some options folks have shared with me over the years:
Insight. As in “Oh, I hadn’t thought of it like that. But now you’ve mentioned it…”
Perspective. As in “Oh, I hadn’t thought to look at it that way. But now I do, I can see…”
Useful new ideas. As in “Oh, we hadn’t thought of that before, but that idea could be useful to us…”
General curiosity. As in “I’m curious about stuff – and maybe I’ll learn something.”
Entertainment. Not that I’m a comedian or entertainer. Don’t look to me for laughs or a dance or a song. I don’t even have a particularly sparkling personality or charisma. Some folks do find thinking-out-loud entertaining, I suppose.
A break from work. We all appreciate a break.
My boss told me to read it. Sympathies.
Push or Pull?
Whatever the reasons, most folks in my live audiences just turn up and play the blank slate. That’s to say, they seem to want me to PUSH information at them. Which is a choice I respect. But there are other choices. Like coming prepared, for example. Specifically, coming prepared to PULL information. I have an extensive blog, I’ve written papers and been videoed, I tweet a bit. I always feel disappointed when folks turn up not having any real fore-knowledge of what I’m talking about. Which, btw, is most people, most of the time.
It doesn’t really bother me having to introduce my material before getting to the meat of meeting folks’ needs. God knows I’ve done that often enough. But it’s not very stimulating for me, and more importantly it leaves so much less time for helping you folks get your specific needs met.
So, if you’re thinking about being in my audience any time soon, would you be willing to give a little thought as to whether you’d like to make some preparations, some study, beforehand? Would you be willing to think about whether pulling information might work better for all concerned? Would you be willing to give some thought as to how we might work and learn together? It would help me meet my need of providing you with the best possible value in our limited time together. And maybe it might help you get more of your needs met, too.