Why Should Anyone Follow You?


Photo Credit: Dani Simmonds

I’ve decide to blog this week from a coined phrase used in the presentation from Anne Bruce, a keynote speaker at the 2010 ASTD ALC conference in Washington DC (for those not in the training profession, that is American Society for Training and Development Chapter Leaders Conference).  So, why should anyone in the world follow you?  Follow you on tweeter, listen to you teach, speaking engagements, follow your business plan?

How many of us have these great ideas, but when we truly become honest with ourselves, do we have an answer to why anyone would want to follow us?  Is it because of our wit?  Do we have or claim to have an upper handle on some type of knowledge that others might find useful?  Do we have a political statement to make?  Do we have a religious conviction that we want to share to all?  Hmm…tough questions, right?

Working with people is one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding experiences that I have had in my life.  (And yes, that does include those days in sales and working a few “Black Friday” events).  During Anne’s speaking engagement, we learned as to why people follow us…it’s all in how you make them feel.  Agree or disagree?  A person may have the greatest business plan, profound research to publish, strongest political statement, or even most correct religious convictions (of your choice) to voice.  But after speaking any of these, how are people going to feel?  In the business world, we tend to remove all feelings, but really, the gut feeling still exists no matter if it is evaluated before a decision or comes to you after the “decision” has been made.

Here are some thoughts on evaluating how others are going to feel:

  • Video tape the message and ask ‘how is it making me feel’?
  • Ask for a pilot group to hear your message.
  • Know your target audience and know the feelings you are trying to convey to them.
  • Research how your audience already responds to the message you are giving.

Don’t be afraid of emotions, because if you or your audience does not have them, then you are speaking to a group of dead people or space aliens.

Please share, what has been your experience as to why people are following you?


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