One of the first questions that I get, when anybody approaches me, and I get this question all the time, so I want to answer it here on this video. It’s maybe controversial to you.
Most people, when they are giving speeches or when they are giving presentations, or even when they’re writing a book or they’re writing a screenplay or they’re making a documentary, anything that is a communication to other people, they have this one question that they always ask.
They go, “Bo, do you take the audience into consideration and tailor your performance or your speech or your play or your movie or your book, to a specific audience, or do you tell the one that YOU want to see?” So, there are 2 schools of thought here.
I hear a lot of people out there coaching people like, “Your audience, you must take your audience in and you must tailor your presentation or your speech to your specific audience.”
Today, I’m going to fly in the face of that notion here for a moment. I used to do that, and I think most people do, do that to a certain degree. But until I started telling the speech that I wanted to see, until I started telling the stories that I wanted to hear, until I started writing the screenplays of the movies that I wanted to sit in the movie theatre and I wanted to watch., not until I did that, not until I was mentored to do that, did I really find my voice and did I really find the impact with people. Because the truth of the matter is, people are people and your audience doesn’t necessarily know what they want.
So, imagine you and me coming up with a speech today. So, I’m trying to think of what does my audience want? What do they desire? You don’t necessarily know what you want until somebody says it, until it’s presented to you, then you go I want that.
There are 2 schools of thought in moviemaking, so everyone knows the director and moviemaker Martin Scorsese. He made many, many great movies over the years. Then on the opposite side would be Steven Spielberg, another great director and great moviemaker.
So, think about the 2, the breadth of movies that these guys have made, their body of work is gigantic over many years. They say that Steven Spielberg makes movies that everybody loves. Martin Scorsese, on the other hand, makes movies that he loves. Those are the 2 schools of thoughts.
So, think about that in your own life right now. Say you’re under the process of or in the middle of the process of writing a book or making a movie or documentary, or a speech or a presentation at work and the storytelling that goes on there. Think about it. Are you thinking too much about the audience, and what they want, instead of what YOU would like to see?
I picture myself in the audience. When I am giving a speech, I picture myself sitting there, Bo, sitting in the audience going like this, anticipating the speaker to come on. I’m thinking God, wouldn’t be great if somebody that came up and did this and told me this and inspired me in this way. That’s what I want to be.
I want to be the speaker that if I’m sitting in the audience, I want to see that performance. Not necessarily the performance that everybody wants to see. Because I think when you go to what’s popular, when you write a speech or anything for that matter that is popular and that touches everybody in a certain way, then you’re going to homogenize yourself a little bit. You’re going to cut yourself off from the personal things that you love. I don’t think audiences love that.
I believe that audiences love what you love. If it’s important to you, it is important to your audience. So, the next time that you give a presentation, or the next time you give a speech, or the next time you’re writing a screenplay for a movie, think of the movie that you want to see. Think of the speech that would inspire you. Think of the presentation that would have you sitting on the edge of your seat going, dang, I wish everybody would do it this way.
Instead of trying to placate it to an audience that may not even know what they want to see. But they know they want to be inspired. The only way to inspire them is for you to put on the performance that YOU want to see.
I want you to take this on in your next speech, in your next presentation. I want you to write. I want you to rehearse. I want you to perform, the performance that you desire to see. Then I want to see what happens with your audience. Get out there, and try that.