Tip of the Month
How to Get People to Pay Attention to You 
By Tiffany Dahlberg 

Recently I spoke at a Communicators Conference and presented four tips to engage your audience.  These tips are important to all of us who need to get people's attention:

  1. Appeal to everyone's #1 interest
  2. Understand their three needs
  3.  Build Trust
  4. Answer their six questions

This month, I will discuss the first two tips and next month, I'll address tips 3 and 4.

1.  Everyone is tuned into their own favorite radio station:  WIIFM (What's In It For Me)?  People are constantly scanning messages to decide if they are relevant to them.  And if they find one, they will listen to it.  Appeal to your listeners by giving them their own reasons to pay attention - not yours.  Your audience wants to know how and why listening to or reading your message benefits them.  You must include these benefits at the beginning of your presentation, in the subject line of your email, or top of your flyer to capture their attention.


2.   One way to engage your audience is to recognize that human beings have three needs: Achievement, Affiliation, and Influence.  I have explained these in a past newsletter (click this link to read this article).  In your mass communications, address all three needs.  In one-on-one communication, try to zero in on your listener's primary need.  To do that, you'll need to observe the person's behavior, which gives you hints about which of the three needs that he/she is trying to fulfill. Although this takes keen observation and practice, it will help you reach and motivate people.


Start including WIIFM and understanding people's three needs to engage your audience.  Watch for our newsletter next month about how to build trust and answer the six questions.  When you're interested in more information about effective communication, please contact us. 
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Tiffany Dahlberg
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