I absolutely love this picture that has been floating around the internet all week.
If you don’t know the background of this photo, a retiring U.S. Secret Service agent and his wife came to the White House to meet President Obama. Apparently their son was either bored or unamused because instead of marveling in the presence of the Commander-in-Chief, he face-plants onto the Oval Office’s couch.
Every single person in leadership, or wanting to be in leadership, should plaster this image in his or her head because it sums up what you have to do every time you prepare your next message or meeting—convince the audience why they should care.
What’s in it for them? Why should they have interest? Why should they “get off the couch” and join your conversation?
Imagine that every one who needs to receive your message is this little boy—buried into the couch, not invested in what you’re saying.
What are you going to say to catch his attention? How are you going to keep his attention once you have it? And how are you going to make your message so great that he runs off and shares it with others?
The days of force-feeding your ideas to others are long gone. If you have something to say, you have to be strategic in how you deliver it.
A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson. – John Henrik
You don’t have the audience’s attention just because you walked into the room, or joined the conference call, or passed out a handout—you have to earn it.
Practice the art of grabbing someone’s attention—through what you write and what you say.
I wouldn’t be so sure on solely basing your ability to captivate on your title and how high you are in your organization. You see how well that worked out for the President…