It’s a funky pattern that can happen to the best of us. We want so much to make a difference for people, that we really want to over-deliver. And sometimes we equate over-delivering to giving more and more and more content.
Only less really is more when it comes to content. I’ve learned it firsthand, and have the results to prove it.
There are two reasons people honor a commitment to “over content” their offerings.
1) They want people to understand everything.
This is pretty straightforward, but often we want to transfer all of our knowledge into the heads of other people in one fell swoop. We don’t want anyone to have to experience the pain that we’ve experienced, and in trying to prevent that, we end up overwhelming them.
2) They want to look smart and impressive.
Entrepreneurs can often fall into the trap of thinking the more information or knowledge they have and share, the more impressive they will look. This makes a lot of logical sense, but it doesn’t pan out that way in reality.
Before I talk about how you could think about content, I want to urge you to get really real about which of the above camps you fall in, because it is probably one of them!
Now I’ve got a few tips for you to re-frame your presentation or workshop so that you are happier, and your clients are happier!
1) Orchestrate the Flow
Think less about what to teach, and more about the flow you want your audience to experience. I spent many years as a consumer researcher in corporate so this piece comes pretty naturally to me, but I find that entrepreneurs often forget to put themselves in their audience’s shoes. The moment the talk is about you and what you know, you run the risk of disengaging them.
Now last week, I wrote about sharing your story, which may seem to be all about you. But the truth is, done well, your story is about them. It is a part of creating an experience for them in which they can open up to their own story, as it relates to you.
With each section of content you put in, you want to put yourself in their shoes and ask, “what will they be experiencing here?” Then set to work creating an experiential flow that takes them where you, and they, want them to go.
2) Set Your Three Big Intentions
How do you know where you want them to go? You need to set intentions. I encourage my clients to set three intentions before developing anything they deliver. The intention for the audience, the intention for the business, and the intention for themselves. This will help you to know where to flow. The intention for the audience is always what you want them to take away. The business result is tangible and measurable. The intention for you is always a way of being that keeps your energy present and current. More on that below!
3) Know Your Audience
Before you can really set an intention for the audience, you’ve got to know who they are. This applies whether you’re hosting a three-day event, or doing a teleclass to people you can’t see. Sometimes you won’t know who is actually in the room. This is why choosing an ideal client is so important. While you want to take the whole of the audience into consideration, you really want to design for your ideal clients and what you want them to experience. This is also why the best ideal client is often some version of you from the past because it’s much easier to put yourself in that person’s shoes. Big companies spend tons of money to understand what people are thinking. You know that already when you’ve been one of them!
4) People Can Take In One Thing
People can only take in so much. One intention will do it. If you are wanting to teach six points, that’s great. Remember they will take away one thing. They might love all six and get some nuggets, and the fact that you’ve curated a bunch of info down to six points may impress them, but they will get one thing. You either decide what that is in advance and hold a focus on that, or they will pick the one thing at random, and you may lose them.
5) Being Speaks Louder Than Doing
This is the absolute biggest point I can make for you, and is the reason I suggest setting an intention for yourself as a way of being. Who you are being speaks volumes.
People aren’t listening to what you actually say, they are reading how you feel about what you have to say. When you create a way of being as an intention that keeps you present and focused, people pick up on that.
Nobody wants to be talked at. Even the greatest content, if it is delivered by someone who feels disconnected from the information, won’t be heard.
The great news about this? When you focus on your way of being in the world, and honor and take care of yourself and your energy, people will feel that without you even trying.
I spoke with a new client yesterday who feels depleted often at the end of the workday. When we looked at the source of this, I could see that she tends to feel she has to give her clients tons of support and encouragement verbally and energetically, for them to get a result. The truth is if she’s being supporting and encouraging of herself, that energy will translate to her clients without her even having to say anything. What a relief! And so much less to actually do.
The Truth is so many of our words are wasted on people who don’t hear us. And rather than pulling back and grounding into our personal energy, or currency, we often instead begin to talk more and try harder to get our point across. Aligned Entrepreneurs know where and how to give their goods, and this is an art.
If you know you’re over giving or trying to do too much, you may be a great fit to apply for coaching. CLICK HERE to apply – I’m talking with a select few people in the next week about one open energy spot available.