Whether teaching in a classroom or speaking in a business environment, making a connection with your audience to build rapport is critical to your success in delivering your message. As we know, relationship and rapport can make the difference between your audience tuning you out, or embracing your message.
Sometimes, an opportunity or an idea to connect presents itself that is so timely and significant, that it just can’t be ignored. That just happened to me and I just have to share what happened.
I had an incredible opportunity in early November to present a program in Chicago on the same day that the city was celebrating the Cubs’ first World Series victory in over 100 years. As I considered ways to connect with my audience the night before, I realized that almost everyone would be caught up in this historic and proud local moment.
I found a sporting goods store and bought a championship shirt. Then, during the program, I chose an opportunity to share in the city’s victory, by wearing the shirt. Wait, I didn’t just show up with it on. No, I wanted to harness the element of surprise with an unexpected “reveal.”
At lunch, I put the Cubs tee-shirt on under my professional top. Then… well, watch the video to see what happened. Turn the sound down if you are at work because the hoots and hollers may distract anyone in earshot. In that moment, for that time, I became one of them (well I sure felt that way and I’m a Red Sox fan!).
I loved how my audience came together in the fun and was even more focused on the message I was delivering. I also let them know that I was going to raffle off the shirt at the end of the day. That was FUN!
Sometimes, establishing rapport is a simple thing, but sometimes, we have opportunities to bring our audiences together that can make a truly lasting impact on the message we are there to deliver.
Watch the video and see what happened for yourself!
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