Business Tips and Tricks

How to Command an Audience

audience-300x200Happy Monday and it is time to conquer the world!

Believe it or not, I’m an introvert, content to be on my own working behind the scenes.  I work every day to overcome this in my business.  I mean, let’s be honest, being in direct sales you need to be out sharing and talking to people, right?

I never thought I would or could command an audience.  When I think of an audience, I think of standing in front of a large group of people speaking – YIKES!  The knees start to shake, I get nervous and totally forget what I am trying to say.  Without even knowing it, we command an audience…

  • Are you a mom or dad? Your family is an audience.
  • Have a job? Your co-workers are an audience.
  • Own a business? Your employees and customers are audiences.

When I put things in this perspective, it is a little bit easier to swallow.  The list goes on because an audience can be just one person you are talking to.  I love Andy Andrews! When I first saw him a Thirty One’s National Conference, I wanted to soak up everything he said.  The memory may not be great BUT I do read everything he puts out.  Some things stick with me while others I need to re-read lots of time.

He has an actual formula for commanding an audience no matter the size of the audience.

1. You want the audience to view you as a friend.

Do you feel like you need to have an answer for everything?  Are you a “know it all”?  Did you know the way your audience see you can determine how successful you are?   When your audience identifies with you or see you as a friend, they are more likely to be nice and engage in conversation.  Think about the people you enjoy being around. Then consider each situation from your audience’s point of view and make an effort to be friends with them, you will win their hearts.

2. You always want to actively engage your audience.

Do you get distracted talking to people (a group or event one person)?  You must ACTIVELY keep your audience engaged the whole time you are talking with them.  It can be stressful, right?  I tend to lose focus now with the MS and as a result, I tend to lose my audience.  So, I am working on way to acknowledge the distraction or “squirrel moment” so I can get back on track (for me and for them).

When I am talking to a small group (like at a home party), I used to stand in the front of the room – almost frozen in place, afraid to move.  Now, I walk around and talk to people while sharing the products.  If someone responds to something I said, I may walk over and share the product with them or try to engage them further in conversation.

The truth is despite my best efforts, I will become distracted or my audience will so I have to be ready to deal with it before it happens.

3. Communicate “what’s in it for them.”

When it comes to reading, watching, or listening, we only pay attention to things of interest, or those which affect us, or benefit us.  I mean, you aren’t interested in something, how long are you going to continue to listen or are you going to zone out?

Let your audience know what they will get from you (or the conversation).  If you simply tell them—they will show interest. Sounds easy, right? The key is to take the focus off of you and share what THEY want.  I have been doing this at my Thirty One parties but talking with the hostess before hand to get her favorites or the things she thinks might be of interest to her guests.  It has made a BIG difference in the interactions during a party.

The key is to Always keep “what’s in it for them” in the top of your mind. Tell the the value of your information upfront and it will not only keep their attention but it will also help you to focus your message on the key points.

If you want to make an impact, you must learn to engage and interest your audience.

What are your best tips for keeping your audience engaged or interested? Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel



When you think of storytelling, what do you think of?  Kids snuggled in bed listening to a story before bed.  Or as a kid, sitting in a circle on the floor listening to a story at school or at the library.

Did you know that the best way for your business to stand out in the crowd is when you make an emotional connection to your audience?  Think about your target audience.  Can you picture them?  I mean down to the smallest detail – age, sex, occupation, favorite things to do, etc?  If you can’t and you are just tossing your business out there – you are getting lost in the clutter.

In direct sales we are often taught that “if they want it, they will come”.  You know sort of like the “if you build it, they will come” BUT the truth is you need to stand out.  Your customers need a reason to select YOU over all of the others.  Will it be because of your awesome customer service? Will it be because you have a great story?  What is the reason that people stay with you as their consultant?  What are the compliments that you receive from your customers?  Do you host a great party?

Your success is dependent on your ability to trigger the right emotions, from the right audience, at the right time.  Scary, right?

The real connection to your customers happens when you share a story that helps them to see themselves in your story. So here are the 3 outcomes that you want from your story:

  1. It’s memorable – your story is relatable and people feel a part of it
  2. It inspires action – a great story will draw people in and motivate them to act (buy, book or join)
  3. The story travels – meaning it will be recounted and shared with others

So what does your story do?  I have always hoped that mine will inspire but depending on the group it sometimes draws people in so that they can easily retell it. According to Bridget Brennan, author of Why She Buys, “women talk to connect” If your main audience is women, storytelling is the way to inspire them.

A great way to share your story is with a “why” bag.  I can hear the  groans as you think – “here comes the importance of your why lecture”.  Nope, not going to happen.  Just a few suggestions for your why bag:

  • if you are working to pay off debt – have a cut up credit card
  • if you are working for a vacation – have something that represents it
  • if you are working to stay home with your kids – have a picture of your kids

See, it really isn’t hard just think about what you are using your commission check for and share it.  When you share your story or your why at a party, keep it to 2 – 3 minutes.  Just enough highlights to spark their interest and hopefully trigger an emotion to help them connect with you and your product.

When you shift to talking about your products – it should be about the benefits first and the features second. It’s important to explain what your product can do for your customers.  We can all see the features but we may need a story so that we can see it in our lives.

The final key is to not overwhelm your customers with too much detail.  Did you know that too many options can have the reverse affect on your customers?  Inside of reveling in the choices they become overwhelmed and frustrated to the point where they don’t want anything.  In some cases, more options can actually mean fewer sales and less satisfaction.

Think about it, what happens when you have too many options?  Our customers are the same way.  The best is 2 or 3 items from each “category” of your business.  In the long run, narrowing down the options will be drive more sales in the long-term.

When your customers connect with your story – whether it is your why or your products in their life – you become valuable which helps you to sell your product solutions.  From there, you can continue to strengthen your emotional connection with them so that you can] build long-term, profitable relationships.

So, who wants to share their story? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!