Content is king! Very few people would disagree with this idea because without content, we don’t have anything to share—or sell. The conundrum is that our basic instinct is to hold back the content nearest and dearest to our heart so we have something of value to offer and share with our paying clients.
I remember sitting in an audience listening to a speaker, getting frustrated because the speaker was about two-thirds of the way through their presentation and everything they’d shared so far was pretty much common knowledge. A few more minutes ticked by when someone raised their hand and asked about the specific information everyone in the audience thought the speaker was going to talk about/share with them. The speaker replied that they’d be delighted to speak about it after their presentation.
I understand. I really do. But our audiences come to hear us talk about something they’re interested in hearing more about—or learning more about. People want and have every right to expect that they’ll be able to take action based on something we’ve shared with them. If the only actions we provide are limited to sharing their email address, or pulling a credit card or cash out of their wallet to purchase something from us, they are not going to be happy. (Neither is the person who invited us to speak!)
It’s important to remember that most of the people in our audiences are there by choice. They make the first move when they sit down and give us their valuable time and attention. In return, they’re hoping we share something of value with them. Successful speakers have learned the value of sharing some of their “secret sauce.” It makes it easier for the audience to start trusting them. When speakers hold back too much, people aren’t going to be inspired to continue the conversation. Instead they feel like they’ve gotten sucked into a bait-and-switch scenario. They feel cheated and the speaker will have lost their trust.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting giving away the whole store. But we do have to figure out actionable content most likely to inspire people to want to know more about us and what we have to offer. That amount is going to be different for every speaker, so here are two “actionable” thoughts to consider:
Action #1: Think about the top questions people ask you when they hear about what you do. Pick one to three that will be relevant to the people you’re going to be speaking to, and share the answers in the form of actionable steps. The goal of the content you share is to solve a problem(s) you know they have probably been trying to solve on their own without much success.
Action #2: Think about your content in stages. If you’re audience is full of beginners, then how about sharing slightly more advanced actionable steps you’re confident they can take on their own. People are always excited to take a successful step forward. If you provide them with the actual steps, the odds are in your favor that they’ll contact you for more guidance.
In the end, it truly does feel better to share some of our best content than it does to hold it all back. It feels good to know that we’ve shared vital information that will help our prospective clients and customers improve their lives—even if they don’t end up working with us.
Doing this comes with another huge upside too. When we’re even just a little bit generous with our content, people will feel better about working with us. AND, even when they can take action on their own, they’ll be more likely to want to take those actions with our direct guidance simply because we’ve already been generous and inspiring as both a speaker and a person.