Although I have no problem tooting my own horn, what I'm going to tell you about in this article is strictly from feedback I get from audience members. They tell me that I really make them feel like they can do things that they never could before.
For instance, I just rode back on the airplane last night with a lady that was telling me that she only saw me for 45 minutes at a conference and that she can barely sleep thinking about all the possibilities I showed her.
I regularly out sell all the other speakers at conferences because I make my presentation one small step above the expertise level of the audience. I call this one small step - hope.
If I delivered my information 10 steps above the level of the audience, then I would be so far out of touch that they would get frustrated and either walk out or politely sit there confused --
To deliver at the precise level of the audience, you must research the audience by either observing or asking questions.
When I'm on a multi-day program with lots of other speakers, I simply watch them and watch the audience to see what questions come up. This gives me an exact gage of where they are. If I don't have that luxury, I might interview them by phone or in person before the event. I might have to ask for a show of hands to see how many people know this or that.
The whole idea is that I deliver just above where they are. Just below makes them bored - Way above makes them be wildered. It's almost like the porridge and the Three Bears - Not too hot and not too cold, but jusssssst right.
Another reason I create hope is that I demonstrate how easy something is right on stage. I show the audience members how easy things are that they may have perceived as difficult. This really gives them hope. I can actually hear them saying WOW or many times I hear a rumble of amazement from the audience members when they see that they can make a webpage or send out a broadcast email or whatever it happens to be.
Give them hope and you will convert people from audience members to followers.