An Embarrassing Mistake #Awks.

An Embarrassing Mistake #Awks.

Hi, I’m Lucinda.

I’m a content marketing geek. I help businesses to get more inbound leads, improve customer retention and make more repeat sales.

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Have you ever watched an absolute car-crash of a stage presentation?

One so bad that you found yourself wishing the ground would swallow the presenter up for their own benefit? 

This week I went to the National Achiever’s Congress at the NEC. 

It’s a big event, run by Success Resources, the same people who manage Tony Robbins’ events. 

There were about 4000 people there. Mostly British, with a few Europeans added in. 

Now, I went for the headline acts: Grant Cardone and Gary Vee. But as always, there were other speakers too. 

The first day was painful. 

If you’ve been to one of these events before then you’ll know the drill. 

They don’t give you an agenda for the day, so you don’t know who is speaking and when. The idea is that you’ll stay and listen to the not-headline speakers for fear of missing the biggies. 

The tickets were cheap so I knew we were in for a pitch-fest with every speaker trying to sell you a hugely discounted programme that’s “worth £40,549 for only £1997 just for today”. 

But what I wasn’t prepared for was how painfully embarrassing the whole experience would be. 

You see, Success Resources is an American company and a lot of the speakers who were presenting were American too. 

And I mean VERY American. 

I love the Americans, but we Brits are culturally very different.

We’re not known for our excitable nature or participation skills. We don’t do rah rah motivation, we don’t shout out answers and good god, we most certainly don’t SPEAK to the person sitting next to us! 

These poor speakers seemed to have missed that memo. 

One after another they’d come on stage full of energy and try to get us riled up. 

“Shout Yes! If you’re excited to be here!”

“Put your hand in the air and shout out I’m committed to my dreams!” 

“Turn to your neighbour, high-five them and shout out I’m going to be a millionaire!” 

Every request was met by nothing more than mumbling responses from the few Brits who were too polite not to respond, and one or two people who were joining in with extreme enthusiasm to take the piss. 

It was painful to watch. 

By the end of the afternoon, everyone was losing the will to live. The energy in the room was flat as a pancake and the audience were all staring at their phones, totally disengaged. 

Not one speaker had captured the audience or delivered anything of value. 

Then Russell Brand took to the stage. 

Now, when I booked the tickets I had no idea good old Russell was one of the headline speakers. I love his comedy, but let’s be honest, he’s not really a person that springs to mind when you think business advice. 

It took him less than 30 seconds and two sarcastic jokes to get the audience back on board. He held their attention for over an hour, as he shared how to use the 12 steps programme, usually used by recovering addicts, to change any aspect of your life. 

It was the only bit of value I took from that day. 

On the second day, we had the same problem again. American-style presentations that just didn’t work for a British audience. 

About halfway through the day an Irish guy, Paul O’Mahoney, took to the stage. Just a couple of minutes in and he’d captured the audience and made them listen. He cleaned up, making the most sales of any of the speakers at the event, even more than some of the headline acts. 

So how was it that these two presenters were able to do what the others couldn’t? Why did the audience listen and respond to them, while the other pitches fell on deaf ears? 

Because Russell Brand and Paul O’Mahoney understood their target audience and communicated in a way that we’d relate to. 

They knew that we wouldn’t get all hyped up and excited. They knew that we wouldn’t turn to our left and massage our neighbour. They knew that dry, sarcastic humour was the way to get us to laugh and that a loud and obnoxious hard sell would turn us right off. 

They met us where we were, they communicated in a style that we could relate to and used words and concepts that we would understand. 

It was a good lesson to be reminded of. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting on a stage to thousands of people or sending an email to your list, it’s basic marketing 101: Understand your target market. 

You can deliver a killer sales pitch, with a ridiculously good offer, but if you’ve misunderstood your target market, then no one will be listening. 

Have you ever watched an absolute car-crash of a stage presentation?

One so bad that you found yourself wishing the ground would swallow the presenter up for their own benefit? 

This week I went to the National Achiever’s Congress at the NEC. 

It’s a big event, run by Success Resources, the same people who manage Tony Robbins’ events. 

There were about 4000 people there. Mostly British, with a few Europeans added in. 

Now, I went for the headline acts: Grant Cardone and Gary Vee. But as always, there were other speakers too. 

The first day was painful. 

If you’ve been to one of these events before then you’ll know the drill. 

They don’t give you an agenda for the day, so you don’t know who is speaking and when. The idea is that you’ll stay and listen to the not-headline speakers for fear of missing the biggies. 

The tickets were cheap so I knew we were in for a pitch-fest with every speaker trying to sell you a hugely discounted programme that’s “worth £40,549 for only £1997 just for today”. 

But what I wasn’t prepared for was how painfully embarrassing the whole experience would be. 

You see, Success Resources is an American company and a lot of the speakers who were presenting were American too. 

And I mean VERY American. 

I love the Americans, but we Brits are culturally very different.

We’re not known for our excitable nature or participation skills. We don’t do rah rah motivation, we don’t shout out answers and good god, we most certainly don’t SPEAK to the person sitting next to us! 

These poor speakers seemed to have missed that memo. 

One after another they’d come on stage full of energy and try to get us riled up. 

“Shout Yes! If you’re excited to be here!”

“Put your hand in the air and shout out I’m committed to my dreams!” 

“Turn to your neighbour, high-five them and shout out I’m going to be a millionaire!” 

Every request was met by nothing more than mumbling responses from the few Brits who were too polite not to respond, and one or two people who were joining in with extreme enthusiasm to take the piss. 

It was painful to watch. 

By the end of the afternoon, everyone was losing the will to live. The energy in the room was flat as a pancake and the audience were all staring at their phones, totally disengaged. 

Not one speaker had captured the audience or delivered anything of value. 

Then Russell Brand took to the stage. 

Now, when I booked the tickets I had no idea good old Russell was one of the headline speakers. I love his comedy, but let’s be honest, he’s not really a person that springs to mind when you think business advice. 

It took him less than 30 seconds and two sarcastic jokes to get the audience back on board. He held their attention for over an hour, as he shared how to use the 12 steps programme, usually used by recovering addicts, to change any aspect of your life. 

It was the only bit of value I took from that day. 

On the second day, we had the same problem again. American-style presentations that just didn’t work for a British audience. 

About halfway through the day an Irish guy, Paul O’Mahoney, took to the stage. Just a couple of minutes in and he’d captured the audience and made them listen. He cleaned up, making the most sales of any of the speakers at the event, even more than some of the headline acts. 

So how was it that these two presenters were able to do what the others couldn’t? Why did the audience listen and respond to them, while the other pitches fell on deaf ears? 

Because Russell Brand and Paul O’Mahoney understood their target audience and communicated in a way that we’d relate to. 

They knew that we wouldn’t get all hyped up and excited. They knew that we wouldn’t turn to our left and massage our neighbour. They knew that dry, sarcastic humour was the way to get us to laugh and that a loud and obnoxious hard sell would turn us right off. 

They met us where we were, they communicated in a style that we could relate to and used words and concepts that we would understand. 

It was a good lesson to be reminded of. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting on a stage to thousands of people or sending an email to your list, it’s basic marketing 101: Understand your target market. 

You can deliver a killer sales pitch, with a ridiculously good offer, but if you’ve misunderstood your target market, then no one will be listening. 

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