Regardless of your field, one of the most important skill sets to master – arguably the single most important – is your ability to effectively connect with, communicate with, and influence your fellow human beings (clients, prospects, friends, family, colleagues, etc.)
The Context Creation Formula consists of five components:
- [ACK] Acknowledge Your Audience
- [ETW] Enter Their World
- [ENR] Enroll Your Audience
- [WIIFT] What’s In It For Them?
- [ETR + BVA] Earn The Right + Be Vulnerable and Authentic
ACK + ETW + ENR + WIIFT + [ETR+BVA] = Context Creation
Details about each component:
[ACK] Acknowledge Your Audience:
Make them feel respected, they could be doing a lot of other things, your time is valuable.
[ETW] Enter Their World:
What is the audience thinking right now. What is it like to be that person, so that you can enter their world. e.g. acknowledge food when presenting before lunch. That will build a stronger relation with them.
[ENR] Enroll Your Audience:
Ask an either/or question that will categorize the audience into two groups. Ask them to raise their hand using two questions that will be directed to each of the groups. That way everyone feels like "you're talking directly to me". This also helps you customize in the moment and cater to your audience specifically.
[WIIFT] What’s In It For Them?
Tell them what they're going to gain by investing their valuable time listening to you or reading your stuff. Here's what you're going to walk away with, what you're going to learn from today's session. There's usually a good way to transition from ENR to WIIFT. It might be necessary to first touch on WIIFT before continuing on ENR (e.g. if you're sending an email and your audience has a short attention span). Also, if someone is introducing you, they should address the WIFFT. WIIFT should be a big promise, pretty profound and compelling.
[ETR + BVA] Earn The Right + Be Vulnerable and Authentic:
The best way to earn the right is by being vulnerable and authentic, being a reluctant hero. You're not bragging about how awesome you are but doing the opposite, I'm a normal person that figured out some stuff, learned something and applied it, and it changed my life, now I feel responsible to pay it forward and share it with other people. Tell a story about a situation where you sucked, and applying the stuff you improved hugely.
Transitioning from WIIFT: I know these are big promises to make, but here is why I'm comfortable making them for you. ETR == Establishing credibility.
BVA is not Donald Trump's way. Talk about your faults and shortcomings, the audience will connect better to you that way.
"When you’re vulnerable, people fall in love with you." – Robin Sharma
This is also one of the points that should be addressed by the person introducing you, if this happens. This prevents the bragging feeling.
I realize I'm touching some of these points in my main Mental Martial Arts presentation, in particular [WIIFT] and [ETR + BVA], but I could do a better job with these. And I'm definitely going to be reviewing my introduction to really address [ACK], [ETW] and [ENR].