What to Do When Your Audience is Smarter than You
We’ve all had that moment. You know the one. You’re going about your entrepreneurial life, confidently delivering your special brand of expertise in your amazingly unique way when it happens.
Uh-huh. You get a call and are asked to deliver a speech to a group of people. It has all the ingredients of a great deal so you accept, properly thank the person, talk over details, exchange contact information, end the call, and begin preparing the contract for the engagement.
Then … you panic.
Why? In going over the details, you just noticed an unusual characteristic about your audience and realize you accepted the invitation to speak to an audience of … DOCTORS. Why did you agree to that? Why did you let yourself get caught up? You only have a high school diploma. What in the world were you thinking? Now, you were at the top of your class (Mom was so proud) but mind you – high school nonetheless.
Now you begin to feel the rumblings of a voice threatening to rise up and block out everything you know. That voice has been dormant since you discovered your special niche as a business owner. You are suddenly gripped with the terrifying feeling that you will be “found out” by that group of people who will all suddenly realize – and tell EVERYONE they know – that they didn’t see what the big deal about you was after all. And that they knew they had nothing to gain by listening to you from the get-go since there was no way you could possibly be an expert without any form of higher education.
“Everyone will believe them,” you start to think, “why wouldn’t they? They’re smarter than me!”
Now you feverishly launch into your plan on how to prevent this catastrophe. You’ll call and cancel and refer the engagement to another speaker you network with. Brilliant!
Wait…maybe you’ll keep it and just alter the way you normally radiantly begin. Instead of talking about the incredible benefits your lack of higher education gives you in your niche, maybe this time it would be better if you sidestep talking about education altogether. There it is; even more brilliant! Or is it brilliant-er?!
Okay; stoppit, Beautiful.
I need you to take that little man who is currently wildly flailing his arms, screaming, and running in circles, and put him in a timeout so
What just happened to the usually completely confident woman you once were? Technically, nothing. But let’s talk about what is threatening to undermine everything she’s built and then let’s decide to stop that from happening.
Beautiful, you never have to look at any group of people with whom you are sharing your expertise as a threat. EVER.
Do you know why?
As long as delivering to this group aligns with or can be benefitted by your message, and/or sharing with this group will contribute to the growth of your business, WHO they are, or WHAT they know, should never be an intimidating factor. EVER.
If you asked yourself how this group can be benefitted, now you’re ready to properly direct your focus with these questions:
- What do they need?
- Is it something that what I do is designed to help?
- Which one(s) of my strengths should I lead with that will connect best with this audience?
- How can I use my passion to connect with a main passion of theirs?
It’s all starting to come back to you now, isn’t it? Your brand, your niche. The reason why you do this is because you truly have strengths that have wired you for what you do in a unique way that no one else is doing it. Furthermore, this daily work isn’t work at all to you because it is completely fueled by your passion. In other words, you’re built for and are fully in love with what you do!
In what YOU do, Beautiful; YOU are the PhD. That’s right – the fully-licensed, degrees-on-the-wall expert, because YOU invented that special kind of brand, you own it, you represent it, and you completely dominate it. You see, when you understand what makes you stand out from the crowd, you never have to worry about who is presumably smarter than you. In your niche, in what you do, NO ONE is more effective; NO ONE is better.
Sound good to you, but still not sure how to apply the timeout for that little screaming man? Sound good, but still in a cold sweat just thinking about our make-believe scenario?
Transformative Coach & Visionary