What Do They Really Want to Hear Right Now?

You’re getting ready to lead or join an online meeting and you start wondering:

What needs to happen for my voice and ideas to be heard?

With most folks are being pulled in way too many directions these days, your challenge is to rise above the ordinary and stand out with valuable solutions. But how?

Let’s narrow down the range of problems many businesspeople and community leaders are facing into three categories for you to consider:

  • Face-to-face meetings and conferences have mostly returned since Covid but some have been rescheduled only as virtual events.
  • Many businesses are operating with reduced staff or having trouble finding and keeping good employees and are trying to figure out new ways to provide good service and products to their customers.
  • Prices continue to increase in many areas and the consequences are instability in housing, employment, healthcare, and many other arenas.

What is your area of expertise and what can you contribute to a critical conversation? Regardless of which of these challenges you can address, what you say and how you say it matters and can make a huge difference in your business and career. Here are some pointers to help you come across as sympathetic yet persuasive and knowledgeable:

Use benefit words. Try not to just recite facts to justify your position. Contrary to the old movie line, “Just the facts, ma’am,” to be heard now requires you to establish an emotional connection of some kind.

You can do that by incorporating relevant phrases like appeal emotionally such as: “save time,” “save money,” “look good,” “appear more in control,” “increase safety,” “improve compliance,” “more convenient,” “more satisfaction,” and “greater comfort.”

Sprinkle pain words into the conversation.

If you have a true solution to a problem, it’s important to appeal to the state of mind of those in your meeting or presentation. Ask questions like: “Are you frustrated with …,” “Tired of the same old, same old …”, “Angry about what’s happening…,” “Annoyed with the pace …,” “Afraid of the impact of …,” “Worried about the state of …,” “Concerned that you’re not …,” or “Bothered by…”

Here are the three core steps:

  • Think about what the people in your circles need and what you can bring to the table.
  • Organize your solutions and narrow down your explanation to simple, clear elements.
  • Anchor your remarks with benefit or pain words, or both to create the emotional triggers needed for the right action to take place.

It’s hard work to persuade others even in the best of times. Always remember that you are coming from a position of experience and know-how. Your words need to be heard.