I spend a lot of time thinking about message and how I can take my message to more people. I’m constantly reworking a presentation, creating a new advertisement, or looking for a new audience to reach. There’s been times where my message was right on and other times where it definitely fell short. I’ve learned a lot, and still have so much more to learn.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in the work of engagement is that in order to be effective, you don’t need to reach everyone.
To create change, you simply need to reach the right people. What you and I need is to connect to a group of people willing to take our message and share it with others. I often close my presentations making the point that I can’t do this work alone. In order to realize change, it takes the entire community. Truth be told though, I’m aiming that message directly at the believers; the people in the audience that will leave that room and start telling others about what they learned and how they believe in the work. These are the people that have the most influence. You get paid to do your work. They’re along for the ride simply because they believe. That is powerful. That’s the kind of stuff that changes the world.
Now in order to engage those believers you have to be the biggest believer out there. This sounds pretty obvious, but from my experience, a lot of people could work on believing their own message. Do you believe? Could you convince me?
People want to be inspired. They want to believe in something bigger than themselves, and most importantly, they want to be a part of it. You need to engage them and let them in, but not by thinking they are going to come to you. No, you need to go to them. You need to learn about them and create a message that connects with their own values and beliefs. The overlap exists, trust me.