How do you want your audience to perceive you?
Everyone has an audience. Do you know who your audiences are? What do you want them to learn from you? How can you influence them?
On Your Feet co-founder, artist and accidental movement starter, Gary Hirsch, got AM:PM PR’s Speakeasy guests pondering these questions and shared some ideas for influencing our most important audiences.
Gary and his partners have been hired by Intel, Disney, Nike, Apple, P&G, The British Ministry of Defense, a small band of Northern Californian Buddhist monks and so many other organizations to use improv to improve communication, leadership, idea generation, brand building, organizational development, and collaboration. He shared some of what he’s learned from these enviable experiences.
Learn by observing
You can learn a lot by observing audiences.
“I often go to plays and sit where I can inconspicuously see the audience’s reactions,” Gary said. “People behave completely differently than they would on their own. Audiences are an interesting and unique organism.”
Start paying attention to audiences of any size and try to understand what influences them. What catches and keeps their attention? What do they seem to want? Try shifting your perception away from the traditional audience/speaker relationship and to make the audience the focal point.
We’re all creators of content. We all have audiences. How can we make the most of those interactions? How can we ensure the impact we hope for?
“Letting go” helped shape Gary’s philosophy as an artist and professional communicator.
“It’s so easy for us to hoard information and ideas. We grasp on to the idea of intellectual property,” he said.
Gary had an epiphany with his Bot Joy, business. What started as a small totemic art project for On Your Feet clients grew into little bot armies hidden around cities across North America and Europe. Demand for these little bots grew with orders from fans and from more cities who wanted a little joy spread in their own region.
In order to grow and feed the demand he needed help. He decided to invite others to build their bot armies. He realized by letting go, the importance and impact of the Bots could outlive him.
Applying the creative principle of ‘letting go’ to the professional world your work can have greater impact, too.
More lessons from Gary and On Your Feet:
- Inspiration can come from anywhere
- Listening is hard work
- Things almost never go (or feel) like you think they will, and this is (almost always) a good thing
- Trying something different can be better than trying harder
- Stories help create meaning
- T-shirts can make good uniforms
Learn more about Gary and how you can steal some of his ideas at BotJoy.com.
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