The 3-Stage Transition of an Audience

by Michael Weston

Sharing my lived experience story with people in business and the wider community to make a difference within the Mental Health & Wellbeing space is very rewarding.
People ask me quite regularly what my “job” is like and I usually reply to them that I don’t consider public speaking a “job”, for me it is much more than that. It is my passion and is something I absolutely love.

The other thing people ask me in relation to public speaking is apart from sharing a powerful message and making a difference, what are the other rewarding aspects of what I do.

Well, the “transition” of what I call the 1% ‘errs in the audience can give me a real buzz. By transition, I mean when a rare audience member stands out like a sore thumb amongst the rest. The person that is “attending” but “not present”. The whole body language shows that they don’t want to be there, they have better things to do and the quicker this session is over the better.

You know I get it!

I’ve worked for businesses in my time where they get someone to speak about a subject that isn’t relevant to me, my role or my life and the last place I want to be is in a room with someone that isn’t going to provide anything add-value to my life when I could be doing more productive things.

So you see, I have always had an opened mind with these 1% ‘errs that attend my sessions for I know that my lived experience story will connect and resonate with them…and the process of transition shall occur.

I simply love watching a person transition from being not interested in my session to them walking away feeling educated, inspired and motivated to walk away knowing that they have greater knowledge and awareness to look out for themselves, and feel empowered to make a difference to someone else’s life.

The common transition goes like this;

  • Walks into the room not looking impressed
  • Sits in their seat, slouched down the seat with arms crossed
  • Sometimes drifting off (dozing)
  • Body language indicates they would rather be somewhere else
  • Posture on chair moves to an upright position
  • Eyes wide open, fixed to the speaker (me)
  • Sometimes the nodding of head indicating something that resonates,
  • Slightly leaning forward on the chair, towards the stage
  • Actively listening
  • Sharing their own experiences with the speaker (me) and the audience (colleagues)
  • Asking key questions that very relevant to the subject (in turn educating others)
  • Approaching the speaker (me) to talk one-on-one
  • Sharing more about them and asking more questions
  • Providing positive feedback about the session
  • Sharing openly how they are going to re-evaluate their own Work/Life Balance
  • Sharing how stigma will no longer be in their life when it comes to Mental Health
  • Sharing how they are going to look out for themselves, their work colleagues, family and friends

This is the beauty with investing in a public speaker who has a lived experience to share at your business or community…lives are positively impacted from both sides!

…a Lived Experience by Michael Weston

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