By Ken Kelling
The word ‘audience’ is a crucial one for #eventprofs.
From congresses and conferences to experiential events and festivals, placing the audience at the centre of our planning is key.
But there’s one very crucial audience that very rarely gets the recognition it deserves: You.
On average you will have somewhere between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. And each one of your thoughts is communicated to a highly defined target audience – yourself.
Those 50,000 thoughts dictate how you feel, what you say, what you choose and how you react. So whatever you are telling your own internal audience of one has a big influence on how you communicate to others.
‘I’m in a bad mood’ is a thought that could spell bad news for your colleagues; ‘This all went horribly wrong last time’ is a thought that makes you project a lack of confidence to your client; and ‘I’m terrified of speaking in public’ almost guarantees a nervous and faltering presentation.
The good news is that because your thoughts have a highly attentive audience of one, you’re in a much better position to control the message and how it’s received. The key is to pay attention to thoughts that serve you well while filtering or questioning those that don’t.
You can see this idea in practice if you’ve ever spoken in public.
In this situation, we’re hyper-sensitive to thoughts about being judged.
If you see someone yawning in the front row, it’s easy to think ‘Oh my god, she’s bored’. But unless you’re telepathic, you have no idea what’s really going on with her. You could just as easily tell yourself, ‘That poor woman has been hungover all day, but she was still determined to make it to my session because she knew she’d love it’.
What you tell yourself makes a big difference to how you feel about speaking in public. And how you manage your thoughts will always influence your communication with everyone, from your colleagues to your clients.
So do yourself a favour, pay close attention to the most important audience you may ever have as an #eventprof – the audience of you.
Ken Kelling is associate director at Davies Tanner Communications.