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Start with trust

We called a neuroscientist to ask what the science says about building a tribe around your ideas and
Standing oration
Start with trust
By Kristian from Speakers Loft • Issue #10 • View online
We called a neuroscientist to ask what the science says about building a tribe around your ideas and insights.

Meaning resides in the part of the brain that users aren’t using when they read your content on social media. But that probably does not make sense off the bat, so let’s take the long road.
What Matt Johson, speaker and neuroscientist, told us is a bit like jumping into the deep end of the pool. We are going to need you to take that leap with us. Here goes:
The idea of being an independent person with the ability to - through critical reasoning - make an educated decision about the world, is wrong. That insight is a little much to take in.
The good news is that people will listen to you and whether they want to or not, start to align with your ideas. It is not even a conscious process. The bad news is that you too will automatically listen and whether you want to not, start to align with the ideas that are presented to you. Think about that.
(Following that you may also want down scrub down your media consumption in general. New research shows that your parents were right: Junky tv makes people dumber.)
Back to the issue of creating a speaker career: if you want to build a tribe around your ideas, that same mechanism, that challenges our notion of rationality, can be our booster rocket. Only you can’t start on social media.
Make them follow you. Photo by Jehyun Sung.
Make them follow you. Photo by Jehyun Sung.
Does posting on social media ever feel like yelling into a room full of deaf people? According to Matt Johnson, there is a reason for that.
“Trust changes everything. We are much more likely to be open to an argument, or any other mechanism of persuasion) from someone we trust than someone we don’t. Research has shown, that from the standpoint of the brain, interactions with people whom we trust are completely different from people we don’t. There is much less activity in the regions of the brain associated with controlled, deliberate thinking, and instead, much more involvement in regions associated with emotional warmth and automatic, intuitive behavior. And generally speaking, it is much easier to establish trust with someone in person, as opposed to through social media.”
If trust is the game-changer, then we should pivot our business around trust. But how on earth do we do that?
“The classic moniker of "know your audience” really can’t be underemphasized. Not just knowing their titles, and levels of expertise, but knowing them and how they communicate, as much possible. 
In 1:1 dialogue, we naturally cater our language and communication styles to the person we are conversing with. Research has shown that over even just a few minutes of speaking with someone, several conversational features begin to converge unconsciously. Our timbre, amplitude, speech rates, and even our body posture will subtly shift to match the individual we’re talking to while they match ours to theirs. A slow, unconscious convergence facilitates natural communication to a shared intersection; the longer we talk with someone, the more similar our styles become, and the more we understand each other.
In a speech (especially if it’s a huge audience), we get much less feedback from an audience than do we from a 1:1 conversational partner, and so we don’t get the same opportunity to adjust our speaking style. For this reason, having our strategic speaking style as calibrated to the audience as possible ahead of time is vital.“
It fits the bigger picture. When we asked speakers how they feel about social media, they told me they got no immediate return on their social media efforts. Just posting away doesn’t produce an outcome because the readers don’t necessarily trust you. They work with your content in the part of their brains, that doesn’t motivate them to take actions. The task is winning them over. One by one if you have to.
If you want to build a network, that makes an impact go to relevant events, introduce yourself, remember their birthdays, and keep the contact alive online. According to what people tell me, and what the science says, that seems to be a much better way forward.
If you do this, and it works - remember to tell a colleague. We are stronger when we share our learnings.
Win them over one by one if you have to. Photo by Sean Patrick Murphy.
Win them over one by one if you have to. Photo by Sean Patrick Murphy.
That’s all for now. I wish you tons of success in your business pursuits and remember that you have tons of speaker colleagues. Call one of them and ask them how they’re doing. They’ll be happier for it. So will you.
See you with a new edition in a week. Thank you for reading.
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Kristian from Speakers Loft

Standing oration is a bonfire for public speakers. Huddle around with the rest of us, as we talk about living and working as a public speaker. We're also creating

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